Stem cells

Doctors: We have cured man of HIV

Using stem cells, a medical team in Germany says it has rid the "Berlin Patient" of his HIV infection


Michelle Fitzsimmons
December 15, 2010 2:15AM (UTC)

Tweets are flying with news of a major medical breakthrough: Doctors in Germany have strong evidence that they've cured a man of HIV using stem cells.

HuffPo reports that Timothy Ray Brown, an American dubbed the "Berlin Patient," underwent a stem cell transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia. The stem cell donor, chosen after careful vetting by Brown's medical team, also had a natural resistance to HIV. Those cells regenerated more HIV-resistant cells and, his doctors say, there is now no sign of the infection.

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The doctors' findings will be published in the December issue of the peer-reviewed journal Blood, but the Web is aflutter with the implications of their research. This, one source reports, paves the way for an HIV cure using genetically engineered stem cells.


Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle Fitzsimmons is an editorial fellow at Salon.com.

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