Two men who underwent bone-marrow transplants in the U.S. are now free of the HIV virus, reports CBS News.
The two patients are not linked: One, in his 20s, was born with the virus while the other, in his 50s, acquired HIV at the start of the AIDS epidemic in America. They had their transplants in 2008 and 2010.
Evidence of the virus seemed to disappear from both men’s DNA as they received new stem cells from donors and maintained a steady diet of antiretroviral drugs.
A similar miracle occured for Timothy Ray Brown, the so-called Berlin Patient, who was fortunate enough to have a donor with a rare immunity to HIV that was passed on to him. Brown said in a statement, “We can only hope that this case and today’s development represents the beginning of the end of this plague.”
And it is only a beginning: Finding bone-marrow donor matches is no easy feat and it’s still far too soon to tell if any of these men will remain HIV- for the rest of their lives.
Still, the news is encouraging.
Photo: CDC/ C. Goldsmith