|Could Timothy’s Claim Of Being Cured Of AIDS Be A Breakthrough|
|Saturday, 28 July 2012 09:36|
Timothy Ray Brown, a Berlin National is believed to be the first person to have ever been cured of HIV after undergoing a stem cell transplant. Known as “the Berlin Patient”, Timothy says, he has no trace of the HIV in his blood as confirmed by his medical Doctor, Dr Gero Hutter .
Briefing the media here in Washington as part of the ongoing 2012 World Conference, Mr Brown said the blood stem cell transplant he had in 2007 to treat leukemia, using a donor with a rare gene mutation had provided natural resistance to HIV.
Mr Brown's case seems to be a landmark medical advancement that researchers say could pave the way for future treatment of the insidious disease for its 34 million sufferers worldwide.
Mr Brown said he tested positive in 1995 and was put on the lifetime pills, antiretroviral drugs but his health deteriorated in 2006.
“I was referred to an oncologist who discovered that I had an acute myeloid leukemia and was put on chemotherapy”.
While the first round of treatment appeared to work, it also made him more susceptible to infections. Brown developed pneumonia early on in his treatment, and he battled sepsis halfway through his third round of chemo. His doctors realized they would have to try a different approach.
He explained that Dr Hutter knew of a research that concluded that the CCR5 Receptor allowed the HIV virus to attach to the T-Cell and subsequently infect the cell spreading the disease whilst people without CCR5 appeared resistant to HIV infections
Mr Brown said he had his HIV susceptible immune system replaced with an HIV resistant line of stem cells, which had his HIV cleared. He noted that his leukemia was in remission but astoundingly there was no detectable HIV in my system adding, “My T-cell counts increased and five years after here I am well and free of HIV”.
Mr Brown announced that he would be starting a foundation, the Timothy Ray Brown Foundation, in conjunction with the World AIDS Institute to be dedicated solely to finding a cure for HIV. He urged leaders and other members of the scientific community to focus more funding and efforts specifically toward finding a cure.
He hoped his treatment will become a common procedure to cure other people of HIV, “Treatment is expensive but my experience has shown that a cure is possible”.