First Person Cured Of HIV Has Died Aged 54

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First Person Cured Of HIV Has Died Aged 54

The first person in history ever cured of HIV has died at the age of 54. Timothy Ray Brown from the United States, died in Berlin after a resurgence of the cancer he was first diagnosed with 13 years ago.

Known as the 'Berlin patient', Mr. Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 and, in 2007, he was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a bone-marrow transplant. The donor of the bone marrow was an individual with a rare mutation in their DNA, known as the CCR5 gene.

Amazingly, Mr. Brown was not only cured of his leukemia but he also found himself HIV free. Never again did he require HIV drugs, nor did HIV ever again show itself in his system. Going from a tragic position of having leukemia and HIV, he was clear of both.

The procedure did, however, bring about harsh side-affects, including organ inflammation, a side-effect that can occur in patients that receive transplants, even those without HIV. A bone-marrow transplant in itself is also a profoundly dangerous medical procedure, as the patient is temporarily stripped of much of their immune system's power, making this dangerous and expensive treatment not widely available.

While Mr. Brown was the first to be cured, he certainly wasn't the last. Since 2007, six other patients have been entirely cured of HIV after receiving bone-marrow transplants. Adam Castillejo, known as the 'London patient', went public with his HIV clear status earlier this year. The other 5 have chosen to keep their anonymity thus far.

The International Aids Society (IAS) said of Mr. Borwn's passing:

"We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible."

While Professor Sharon Lewin, the director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia added:

"Although the cases of Timothy and Adam are not a viable large-scale strategy for a cure, they do represent a critical moment in the search for an HIV cure."

Writing in 2015 to the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses journal, Timothy Brown spoke of his story and his desire to see an HIV free world, he stated:

"While in recovery, there was much talk about my case among medical scientists. I was not ready for publicity but, at the end of 2010, I decided that I would release my name and image to the media. I went from being the "Berlin Patient" to using my real name, Timothy Ray Brown. I did not want to be the only person in the world cured of HIV; I wanted other HIV+ patients to join my club. I want to dedicate my life to supporting research to search for a cure or cures for HIV!"

Despite there being limited cures for HIV, the disease is no longer considered in the West to be a life-limiting illness. HIV drugs result in HIV positive individuals being expected to live as long as HIV negative individuals. In fact, diabetes now eliminates more years of life-expectancy than HIV. Showing just how far treatments have developed since the disease was first discovered in the 1980s.

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Thinking Humanity: First Person Cured Of HIV Has Died Aged 54
First Person Cured Of HIV Has Died Aged 54
The first person in history ever cured of HIV has died at the age of 54. Timothy Ray Brown from the US, died in Berlin after resurgence of cancer.
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