There was a gap between 12 and 12 years between the announcement of the first and second patients who claimed to have retrieved their HIV infections.
But now, just two days after doctors claimed that the other patient was HIV-free, another law says they have cleared the infection in a third patient – and there is a chance that a fourth and a fifth might follow soon after.
Three & # 39; s Company
According to a New Scientist a team of researchers from the Netherlands tell the existence of the “Düsseldorf patient” at the conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections in Seattle on Tuesday.
This patient underwent the same type of bone marrow transplantation as the other two HIV-free patients. Now, three months after they stopped taking antiviral drugs, biopsies from the patient’s intestines and lymph nodes show no infectious HIV, said researcher Annemarie Wensing at University Medical Center Utrecht New Scientist .
] It is still too early to know for sure whether this third patient has actually been “cured” by HIV ̵
1; or if someone has been cured at all. Twelve years after the announcement of the first HIV-free patient, it is still impossible to know for sure that the virus is not only in an undetectable state.
Two other HIV patients still taking antiviral drugs have undergone the same bone marrow transplant procedure as the HIV-free patients Javier Martinez-Picado of Barcelona’s IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute told New Scientist .
If these patients respond in the same way as the other three patients – with their HIV obviously completely eradicated – when they stop taking antiviral drugs, the growing number of success stories can make it easier to say with certainty that doctors have actually found a cure for HIV.
READ MORE: A third person may have become HIV-free after a bone marrow transplant [ New Scientist ]