According to a paper published by the British journal Nature on the 5th, an AIDS patient called “London Patient” has not detected HIV for 18 months after stem cell transplantation. He may be the second person to cure AIDS after the “Berlin patient”, but experts are cautious that the efficacy needs to be monitored continuously.
“London Patient” is a male patient from the United Kingdom whose identity is not disclosed. The information provided by the paper shows that he was diagnosed with HIV in 2003, started receiving antiretroviral drugs in 2012, and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma later in 2012.
In 2016, the patient received chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. After 16 months, he was not tested for HIV in his body and decided to stop anti-AIDS treatment. Since then, the “London Patient” condition has been easing for 18 months, but the researchers believe that it is too early to say that the cure.
The only AIDS patient recognized to have been “healed” to date is “Berlin patient” Timothy Brown. Brown also suffered from AIDS and leukemia. In 2007, he received radiation therapy and stem cell transplantation in Berlin. Both diseases disappeared. However, similar attempts to other patients have not been successful since then.
Timothy Henrich, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, also pointed out that treatment for London patients is “not a provocative, safe, or economically viable strategy.” Currently, this strategy is limited to those who need stem cell transplants for other reasons, not just those who are infected with HIV.
On the road to treating AIDS, we still have a long way to go.