Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stem-cell therapy frees two HIV patients

Encouraging news from the Worlds AIDS conference is that two men with HIV have been off AIDS drugs for several months after receiving stem-cell transplants that appear to have cleared the virus from their bodies.
Patients HIV-free for now after transplant

Both patients, who were treated in Boston and had been on long-term drug therapy to control their HIV, received stem-cell transplants after developing lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Since the transplants, doctors have been unable to find any evidence of HIV infection, Timothy Henrich of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston told an International AIDS Society conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"I don't actually want to use the cure word in this situation," said Timothy Henrich, from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, of the bone-marrow study he is co-leading.

"But what I can say is that if these patients are able to stay without detectable HIV for at least a year, maybe a year and a half, after we stop treatment, then the chances of the virus coming back are very small," he told an AFP correspondent in Paris.

Scientific advances since HIV was first discovered more than 30 years ago mean the virus is no longer a death sentence and the latest antiretroviral AIDS drugs can control the virus for decades.


  1. Stem cell therapy is an intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury.

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