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What does the new HIV cure mean for funds for black people?

A woman uses the Oraquick rapid HIV test unit at the South Brooklyn Health Center on February 7, 2006 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images) A few days ago, there were explosive positive news about the HIV / AIDS front. Doctors confirmed that another person has been cured by HIV, only the second time this has happened since the virus raised its ugly head more than 37 years ago. Although scientists officially call the event "long-term remission" London patient ", as he is known, has been in remission for a year and a half), it is indeed an exciting breakthrough, especially since the" Berlin patient "( now identified as Timothy Brown) was cured with a similar transplant more a decade ago. The LA Times reports on the features that involved a bone marrow transplant for the treatment of co-morbid cancer: The London patient infected with HIV and suffering from Hodgkins Lymphoma, bone marrow cells from a donor who had a defective CCR5 gene as part of his cancer treatment received the gene known to create a protein that is crucial for HIV invading blood cells, and Brown also had a transplant without functioning in CCR5 Genes A second set of "Boston patients" who received stem cell transplants with functioning CCR5 genes also experienced marked reductions in the HIV reservoir. one in their cells – and could go without treatment for months, showing that the transplant itself played a role in tapping back the virus. But their temporary…

A woman uses the Oraquick rapid HIV test unit at the South Brooklyn Health Center on February 7, 2006 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

A few days ago, there were explosive positive news about the HIV / AIDS front. Doctors confirmed that another person has been cured by HIV, only the second time this has happened since the virus raised its ugly head more than 37 years ago.

Although scientists officially call the event “long-term remission” London patient “, as he is known, has been in remission for a year and a half), it is indeed an exciting breakthrough, especially since the” Berlin patient “( now identified as Timothy Brown) was cured with a similar transplant more a decade ago.

The LA Times reports on the features that involved a bone marrow transplant for the treatment of co-morbid cancer: The London patient infected with HIV and suffering from Hodgkins Lymphoma, bone marrow cells from a donor who had a defective CCR5 gene as part of his cancer treatment received the gene known to create a protein that is crucial for HIV invading blood cells, and Brown also had a transplant without functioning in CCR5 Genes

A second set of “Boston patients” who received stem cell transplants with functioning CCR5 genes also experienced marked reductions in the HIV reservoir. one in their cells – and could go without treatment for months, showing that the transplant itself played a role in tapping back the virus. But their temporary results also suggested that the aberrant gene was necessary for a long-term cure.

Despite efforts to replicate the remarkable results in Berlin, researchers had failed for a decade, partly because the possibility of making such transplants is rare. [19659009] “I think it’s a really exciting breakthrough, in order to finally replicate the first known cure,” Roten told. Raniyah Copeland, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “It doesn’t mean [a cure for all] tomorrow, but that means we’re closer than ever before.”

Raniyah Copeland, President and CEO of Black AIDS Institute Photo: Courtesy BAI

Copeland, the 34-year-old newly appointed head of BAI (she took the post on January 1), also warns that the true end of HIV – especially for black people – still with prevention and access to the tools developed over the past three decades. Black communities, in particular, who are still infected and dying of wildly disproportionate interest rates, must exploit the resources already available that have taken HIV from a mortal to a chronic disease.

“So we already have all these fantastic tools it can theoretically stop HIV,” notes Copeland. “We have this amazing technology where we can identify when new HIV cases happen. We have pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), so when people are HIV negative, they can take a daily pill and stop acquiring, but we still have HIV infections.”

“We know that black people do not achieve viral suppression in the way our other counterparts do, so … we have to make sure we do the second work to ensure that the communities that need those resources get them. is not the end, but it is an important step to get there. “

We know that the” Berlin patient “and” London patient “received their stem cell transplants from a donor of northern European origin with a different CCR5 gene. Copeland says she does not believe that ethnicity in itself means a lot to the science of a cure, but emphasizes that black people must be involved in clinical research.

“We must be engaged so that when breakthroughs are happening, we can see them in our society as well. There is such a type of trait, a particular receptor found in the Eurostat of descent,” confirms Copeland. “So it is important that we know that there are different genetic differences and mutations that happen. And I think that means that it is very important that people who are strongly influenced by HIV participate in clinical trials and in research so that we can see what it means to all communities. “[19659005] And in the meantime, Copeland emphasizes that we must keep our feet for those who hold the keys to research funds to the fire, including President Donald Trump, who in his latest Union state announced that He was to present a strategy to stop HIV in the United States in 10 years.

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“We are happy to hear that people listen to science. We have said that we can stop HIV for years now, so we are happy that there is some support around it,” Copeland. “But that means we can’t give up, especially when it comes to research. We need to make sure that there is important and critical funding for HIV research so that we can find a cure, a vaccine. “

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