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66-year-old patient cured of HIV with stem cell transplant

The American Institute City of Hope announces the remission of a patient infected for 33 years with HIV thanks to a stem cell transplant.

A new hope in the fight against AIDS. An American patient has just been cured of HIV and leukemia, the City of Hope cancer research institute in California announced on Wednesday. The 66-year-old patient received a stem cell transplant for almost three and a half years for his blood cancer. During this treatment, the HIV virus simply stopped replicating in his body.

“When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, like many others, I thought it was a death sentence,” the man said in a statement released by the Institute.

The one who wishes to remain anonymous was declared in remission 17 months after stopping his treatment against the virus. “He might have been able to stop therapy sooner, but he wanted to wait until he was vaccinated against Covid-19,” City of Hope said.

“Opens up opportunities for older patients”

He is the fourth patient in history to experience long-term HIV remission and most importantly the oldest patient to date.

“The patient’s case opens up opportunities for older patients living with HIV and blood cancer to receive a transplant and achieve remission for both diseases if a donor with a rare genetic mutation can be identified.” the Institute.

Because this cure was made possible thanks to a rare genetic mutation received during his stem cell transplant: the homozygote CCR5 Delta 32. It prevents HIV from replicating in the blood and thus makes the patient resistant to the virus.

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“A medical step”

“We were delighted to let him know that his HIV is in remission and that he no longer needs to take the antiretroviral treatment he had been on for over 30 years,” says Professor Jana Dickter, a doctor at the division. of infectious diseases at the institute.

“He saw many of his friends die of AIDS in the early days of the disease and was so stigmatized when he was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. But now he can celebrate this medical milestone,” she says.

“We are proud to have contributed to helping the patient achieve remission from HIV and leukemia. It makes us humble to know that our pioneering science in bone marrow and stem cell transplants, as well as our research for precision cancer medicine, have helped transform this patient’s life,” said Robert Stone, President and CEO of City of Hope.

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