HIV Returns In Two Men Previously Thought “Cured” Via Bone Marrow Transplant

hiv t cellThere’s some bad news in the fight against HIV/AIDS today, as the virus has returned in two men who were previously hoped to be cured.

The Boston Globe reports that the two men who saw all traces of HIV cleared from their systems after undergoing bone marrow transplants have both recently again tested positive for the disease.

The two unnamed patients both had long histories with HIV, and agreed to stop taking their HIV medications so that researchers could ascertain whether it was their medications or the bone marrow transplant that was helping to keep the virus at undetectable levels.

In July, when the initially promising findings were reported, doctors were still unable to detect HIV in patient #1 or patient #2 after both had been off their medications for 7 and 15 weeks, respectively.

However, in August, HIV was detected in patient #1, who then went back on medication. When given the choice to go back on medication after the scientists involved faced ethical issues with continuing the study, patient #2 declined. He returned to the medication after signs of HIV returned after 8 full months free of the virus without medication.

To date, the only patient successfully cured of HIV is Timothy Ray Brown, the so-called “Berlin patient,” who in 2009 received a bone marrow transplant from a patient with a rare HIV-resistant mutation.

Though the findings are disheartening, the scientists involved in the study insist that it will help in the ongoing fight against HIV, and that it was important to come forward with the information about the failure of this particular method.

“We felt it would be scientifically unfair to not let people know how things are going, especially for potential patients,” said lead scientist Dr. Timothy Henrich. Henrich added that the reemergence of the virus in the two patients suggests that latent HIV cells lurk deeper in the body and are more persistent than scientists had realized.

Henrich and his colleagues hope to recruit more patients for further research, and for the time being are focusing their efforts on pinpointing deeper, less routinely tested locations in the body like the liver and brain where HIV reservoirs can hide.

Until the fight against HIV/AIDS is finally won, let this story be yet another reminder to wrap it up, boys.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #aids #aidscure #aidsresearch stories and more


  • 2eo

    Every step brings us closer to curing HIV, they should be applauded for trying to end this horrible blight on our species.

    Maybe instead of jumping down the throats of scientists who are trying you should direct some anger at the governments and religious institutions that have slowed study to a snails pace.

  • AuntieChrist

    @2eo: But darling. It is so much easier to blame the victims of this disease…And because the primary transmission is sexual in nature, to stigmatize it and relegate it to those we judge undesirable…Then of course there is the cost of the HIV medication…Cost=Profit…The biology of the virus and it’s ability to mutate is another factor…Add politics and ignorance and you have the ideal recipe for a global pandemic…

  • Tackle

    After reading the actual article in the Boston Globe, the Berlin patient who has remained HIV free since 2009, received his bone morrow from the rare HIV gene resistant mutation, CCR5-delta 32. It seems like the American patients did not receive the same bone marrow gene as the Berlin patient. If so, I wonder why not? Why not go with a procedure where there is atleast a proven track record?

  • guest4ever

    When you participate in a crime against nature…

    The piper must be paid.

  • AuntieChrist

    @guest4ever: And when you participate in being a moronic ass the pipe gets shoved up your arse.

  • jimbryant

    Um, no, I’m not going to wrap it up at all. It’s homophobic of for anybody to suggest that gay men should wrap it up but not anybody else. Apart from that, it’s also incorrect. People who are healthy and who have sex with healthy people do NOT need to wear condoms.

    All this holier-than-thou moralizing from gay web sites is pathetic and self-demeaning. Don’t you guys see that you are demeaning yourselves? Here’s a good tip: don’t be promiscuous. Simple as that – don’t be promiscuous.

    All this nonsense about linking HIV to male homosexuality is self-demeaning, self-loathing nonsense. I honestly think there are fake gay advocates out there whose real purpose is to make gay men feel diseased and risky.

  • jimbryant


    HIV is not a horrible blight. People with HIV are now living normal lives. Get used to it. It’s not fatal anymore.

    As for condoms, as I said before, there is no need to wear them if you are healthy. No need at all. Bareback is fine so long as you are both healthy. After all, straight couples throughout America have bareback anal sex a lot.

  • AuntieChrist

    @jimbryant: Is there no limit to your ignorance…????HIV differs from many viruses in that it has very high genetic variability. This diversity is a result of its fast replication cycle, with the generation of about 1010 virions every day, coupled with a high mutation rate of approximately 3 x 10?5 per nucleotide base per cycle of replication and recombinogenic properties of reverse transcriptase…So let me put it in terms that even YOU can comprehend…HIV bad…GROW FAST…change fast…Some strains are now resistant to ANY treatment.

  • the other Greg

    “jimbryant” (a.k.a. brian & jason) is an HIV denialist, he doesn’t even believe that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and apparently his sole purpose in posting here is to kill gay men.

    In the unlikely event he is sincere (rather than malevolent) in his ignorance, obviously his two posts here are utterly contradictory.

    In the unlikely event “jimbryant” really has a (non-inflatable) boyfriend, what are the chances the poor boyfriend is fucking around? Pretty high!

    To anyone sane but inexperienced reading this site: I’ve met several guys who report being infected by their FIRST boyfriend, and the bf’s were unaware they were HIV+, and they were monogamous / non-promiscuous with sadly predictable results.

  • 2eo

    @jimbryant: If you ever suffered with anything I’d immediately find god.

  • 2eo

    @jimbryant: I mean apart from cauliflowering of the brain.

  • estemonte

    @Tackle: Bone marrow donation is not like blood donation where there are only 4 major types. It is extremely difficult to find compatible bone marrow donors (which is why everyone should register in a bone marrow bank). Finding a bone marrow donor is amazing in itself, and finding a bone marrow donor that has an HIV-resistant mutation would be nearly impossible. Perhaps one strategy researchers might explore would be to try to make customized bone marrow tissue in vitro.

  • DerekR

    @the other Greg: Greg is this the troll “Jason” who believes HIV does not cause Aids, that Aids is caused by poppers,drugs and backroom sex? His rheteroric has changed slightly but at its core it is still incredibly ignorant, heartless and just plain cra cra. Isn’t it about time, after all these years, someone finally unmasks this troll and does something to make him go away?

  • DerekR

    I volunteer, I just need some assistance-IP address etc.

  • the other Greg

    @DerekR: Yes, that’s the one! The odd phrasing and beliefs are the same. Don’t know why he dropped his previous personae, jason & brian, unless perhaps Queerty “took action” if you know what I mean. When he was brian he had a link to an apparently fake (?) Facebook page with the name Brian Apple.

  • Rockery

    They tried. There are so many theories. I read somewhere I think YouTube, the only way to manage HIV is diet!

  • AuntieChrist

    @DerekR: My understanding of the process is that it is quite complex..You have to click on the link and then be smart enough to read code…Of course there are programs to do that… very few people can…That is the beauty of the internet…Any wing nut, butt plug, asshole can say just about anything, provided there are not bots to prevent them from doing so…We could talk for hours on ethics and freedom and blah blah blah…But what it comes down to is people using their own sense of decorum…Well you can throw that shit right out the window…You don’t know me…YOU cannot tell me what to do…I am a mean kid with a new toy that your parents are too poor to buy…What is crazy is I was the kid that would not say SHIT if I had a mouthful…I took the beatings…ALL OF THEM…The temptation to strike back is so strong…OOPS Auntie is getting personal…Bottom line..? Only the NSA has the computing power to do a lot of this stuff…Sorry I forgot I was stupid../.

  • AuntieChrist

    Still love you guys…Big hug :-)

  • AuntieChrist

    @Rockery: Nice idea…But the only reason I think that I am still alive is I never missed a day of meds and have HIV 1 and THAT is only a matter of time… I do everything to stay on top but in the end we are all mortal…The only thing that matters is what we do right now…NOT tomorrow…NOT yesterday…Did I just say that…??? OH fuck me…

  • Tyler100

    I hadn’t realized that Rick/Jason/JimBryant was terrorizing Queerty too. All he does is post nefarious homophobic, anti-effeminacy and anti-women comments on Towleroad.

  • Fitz

    It’s a shame, but not a disaster– I don’t know of any significant medical treatment that was perfected on the first 2 tries. They are on a good path, one that needs more research.

  • tardis

    Oh, man, that sucks. This looked like immense progress, but it looks like we’re back to square one.

  • 2eo

    @Tyler100: He’s on Towelroad as well, that will help with my info collecting.

  • Tyler100


    Yeah, he posts under the names Rick, Jason, JimBryant, Enchantra, KevC, MaryM and others too. There are so many aliases that it’s hard to keep them straight. He also likes to post under other commenter’s usernames.

  • jimbryant


    Take your homophobic paranoia elsewhere.

    My message to all gay men is as follows: do NOT listen to fake gay advocates who pretend to be concerned. Their real aim is to shame male homosexuals. You do NOT need to wear a condom if you are both healthy.

  • viveutvivas

    @tardis, only about 1 in 100 people of North-European descent have the HIV-resistant mutation, so finding an HIV-resistant compatible donor is about 100 times more difficult than finding just a compatible donor, which is already very difficult. So that was never going to be a large-scale solution.

    I doubt there was ever really a serious expectation that this was going to work in the case where the donor didn’t have the HIV-resistant mutation, but I guess they were hoping.

    It would be very unfortunate if they withdrew the HIV medication while waiting for the virus to re-establish itself or not. I am not sue but I suspect they did that. If so, I am sure they are very much regretting that.

  • 2eo

    @jimbryant: You’ll be very happy to know, thanks to a quick cross reference, I have confirmed one of your IP addresses, and confirmed it to be a singular assigned value.

    It’s also turned up on download trackers from Pirate Bay, a collection of all your downloads has been forwarded to Universal’s legal department. Along with your IP address.

  • bernadettedse

    My Uncle Sebastian just got a 2013 Mercedes C-Class Convertible just by parttime work online. hop over to this site……

  • jimbryant


    Darling. You are welcome.

  • jimbryant

    All I can say to gay men everywhere is “do not use condoms ijf you and your partner are healthy’. It’s a waste of time and money. Don’t let diseased circuit queens shame you into wearing condoms.

  • ethan_hines

    Wikipedia says “At least one copy of CCR5-?32 is found in about 4–16% of people of European descent”
    and my guess is they couldn’t find some one who Had the CCR5-?32 mutation and Also matched their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type which is a requirement so the bone marrow does not get rejected

  • jimbryant

    If both of you are healthy, you don’t need to use any condoms. Condoms are a waste of time and money. Nothing can be transmitted between two healthy individuals.

    Don’t let fake gay advocates within the gay community convince you to wear condoms. All they are doing is covering their own sleazy behinds. They want you to think that we are all HIV-equal.

    No, we are not all HIV-equal. Some of us make healthy choices in life. Some of us don’t. I don’t see why those who make healthy choices should bear the burden of those who don’t.

  • Tackle

    @ estemonte and @ ethan hines : thanks for that info.

  • iMort

    What an amazing thread of comments! You guys rock! jimbryant you are redundant, tooting your horn, but real people have real problems and you are just being self-righteous. That makes you unpoopular.

  • Tyler100

    @iMort: Actually, what makes him unpopular is that he’s a shameless troll.

  • CCTR

    @jimbryant: It is obvious that you enjoy inciting others on Queerty most likely because you want attention or because you don’t have much else to do. Then again I wonder if you are some mole, planted by your christian religious fundamentalist group to disseminate “covert” anti-gay propaganda. Maybe you are simply an ill informed, inexperienced, and uneducated person.
    Whatever the case may be please consider that there may be someone young and impressionable reading your potentially harmful, very erroneous, very judgmental homophobic psycho-babble rhetoric. I would ask of you to back up your claims with sound research but I know there is nothing but quackery that could support anything you post here.

  • CCTR

    @jimbryant: @jimbryant: You are the “fakest” gay advocate there is!

    Your comments about promiscuity, “sleazy behinds”, and “diseased circuit queens” clearly show you as the real shame mongering bigot!

  • the other Greg

    @CCTR: Somehow “jimbryant” manages to have both a very vivid, and a very limited imagination regarding what the supposed “sleazeballs” do.

    His most lurid example involved a gay guy having “sex” (i.e. getting fucked) by 100 men in 7 days. Really! He must have beat off ten times thinking up that one.

    Well in that extreme hypothetical example… even if all 100 of them were untreated HIV poz with wild viral counts… as long as condoms were used properly, the guy on the bottom would be almost certain to stay HIV-negative.

    In jimbryant world, blow jobs do not exist – make of that what you will (although no doubt, they don’t!) – so he yammers on & on all the time about “sex” without a condom, conflating all male-with-male “sex” with anal sex.

    He displays certain telltale signs of being the kind of closeted homophobe who has never actually HAD gay sex, since he imagines it so bizarrely.

  • viveutvivas

    @Ethanhines, @Tackle, ““At least one copy of CCR5-?32 is found in about 4–16% of people of European descent””

    Yes, but one copy is not enough. You have to have two copies to be immune, and that will be the case in 4-16% OF THAT 4-16%; in other words, only about 0.16% to 2.5% of donors of European descent could potentially confer immunity to the recipient. But then as you say, these donors also have to be immune-compatible, which makes the chances very small.

  • mariakatrina

    Hi, I work in a communication company I want to share my testimony to
    the world, my name is maria Katrina, i am from united kingdom in
    Belfast north Ireland, I was a stripper in a club I got effected with
    HIV due to the nature of my job, In April 15 2013 i was tested
    positive to HIV, This is not design to convince you but its just a
    personal health experience . I never taught doctor Hakim could ever
    get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing herb spell, i have tried almost
    everything but I couldn’t find any solution on my disease, despite all
    these happening to me, i always spend a lot to buy a HIV drugs from
    hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one
    day i was just browsing on the internet when i came across a great
    post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV
    and was healed that very week through the help of this great powerful
    healing spell doctor ,I wonder why he is called the great papa Hakim,
    i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he
    has been doing that is causing all this. so I quickly contacted him,
    and he ask me some few questions and so i did all the things he asked
    me to do,He ask me to buy some herbs and which I did for my cure,only
    to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the
    strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong
    and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i
    went to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor
    said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing
    doctor Hakim gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email
    him now for your own healing too on his email:
    [email protected]

Comments are closed.