Researchers working on HIV/AIDS made the announcement on Wednesday that a fourth person has been “cured” of the virus; however, the treatment, which is risky for patients who are also battling cancer, may not provide much solace for the tens of millions of people who live with the virus around the world.
It remains to be seen whether this treatment can be scaled up. Nevertheless, it is a promising development.
The man, who is 66 years old and known as the “City of Hope” patient after the facility in California where he received treatment, was pronounced to be in remission in the days leading up to the beginning of the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada, which will take place on Friday, Science Alert reported.
After the announcement in February that an American lady known as the New York patient had similarly gone into remission, he is the second individual who has been deemed to have been cured of the disease this year.
After undergoing a bone marrow transplant for the treatment of cancer, the patient at City of Hope, just like the patients in Berlin and London before him, was able to achieve long-term remission from the virus.
It was previously stated that another guy, the patient from Düsseldorf, who also may have attained remission, possibly increasing the total number of people who have been treated up to five.
According to an infectious disease expert at the City of Hope named Jana Dickter, who spoke with AFP, the fact that the most recent patient was the oldest to reach remission yet suggests that his accomplishment may hold promise for older HIV patients who are also afflicted with cancer.
Research on the patient that was presented at a pre-conference in Montreal but has not yet been sent to peer review was led by Dickter, who is also the study’s corresponding author.
“When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, like many others, I thought it was a death sentence,” according to the patient, who does not want to have their identity revealed.
“I never thought I would live to see the day that I no longer have HIV,” he said in a statement to City of Hope. “I am beyond grateful.”
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