Two Patients HIV-Free after Stem Cell Treatment

Notes From The Underground

treatment

Two HIV-positive men who got a stem cell transplant to treat blood cancers have now been off antiretroviral drugs for several weeks without evidence of the virus rebounding, a researcher said here.

The apparent HIV remissions are exciting developments, but it is too early to say the men have been cured, according to Timothy Henrich, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“It is possible that the virus could come back next week,” Henrich told reporters before his late-breaker presentation at the 7th International AIDS Society meeting on HIV pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.

But researchers have been unable to find evidence of HIV replication or of HIV DNA integrated into inactive immune cells, although the men have been off HIV therapy for 8 and 15 weeks, respectively, Henrich reported.

If that state persists, he said, it might offer clues to a more widely applicable approach to inducing HIV remission…

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