In 2008, one man, Jimmy Ray Brownish, was treated for HIV.
Also referred to as the “Berlin patient,” Brown was viewed as cured of his infection after getting two bone-marrow transplants to cure a different disease he had been clinically diagnosed with a couple of years earlier: acute myeloid leukemia.
The bone marrow he obtained came from a donor whose genetics carried a rare mutation that made them resistant to HIV, named CCR5-delta 32, which was transferred onto Brown.
In spite of numerous tries on patients after him by experts utilizing this same approach, such as a similar transplant in two Boston patients, Brown is still the only person identified about who has been cured of HIV.
But a new research presented Sunday at the 2016 Towards an HIV Cure Symposium — ahead of the 21st International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, this week — exposed information on a new set of HIV-positive patients whose reservoirs of HIV have fallen to very low levels after receiving a range of stem cell transplants similar to Brown’s.