Study: 3rd Person, 53, Cured of HIV after Receiving Stem Cell Transplant

PARIS (AFP-Jiji) — A man known as “the Duesseldorf patient” has become the third person declared cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant that also treated his leukemia, a study said on Feb. 20.

Two other cases with both HIV and cancer, patients in Berlin and London, have previously been reported as cured in scientific journals following the high-risk procedure.

Now the details of the Duesseldorf patient’s cure have been revealed in the journal Nature Medicine.

The 53-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was diagnosed with HIV in 2008, then three years later with acute myeloid leukemia, a life-threatening form of blood cancer.

In 2013 he had a bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a female donor with a rare mutation in her CCR5 gene. The mutation has been found to stop HIV from entering cells.

The Duesseldorf patient then ceased antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2018.

Four years later, consistent testing found no trace of HIV returning in his body.

The study said that “this third case of HIV-1 cure” provides “valuable insights that will hopefully guide future cure strategies.”

The patient said in a statement that he was “proud of my worldwide team of doctors who succeeded in curing me of HIV — and at the same time, of course, of leukemia.”

He said he celebrated “in a big way” the 10-year anniversary of his transplant on Valentine’s Day, adding that the donor was the “guest of honor.”