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The Cure

First Woman 'Cured' of HIV Continues to Thrive

First Woman 'Cured' of HIV Continues to Thrive

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Photo by SHVETS via Pexels

The “New York Patient” has gone 30 months without a trace of the virus.

A stem cell transplant has rendered a woman, known as the “New York Patient,” free of HIV.

The news was first published on March 16 in an article in the Cell scientific journal. She is the fourth person to successfully achieve remission from HIV after a stem cell transplant.

Like other successful cases, including the Düsseldorf Patient, the New York Patient had blood cancer. However, unlike the three men who have received stem cell transplants, she also received umbilical cord blood cells in her transplant.

Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California Los Angeles, and a member of the team that worked with The New York Patient, addressed the remission during a video press conference, saying, “She’s currently clinically healthy. She is cancer-free and HIV-free. We’re calling it a possible cure rather than a definitive one because we want to observe her for a longer follow-up period.”

The current observation has covered 30 months without a trace of the virus. Although this particular procedure wouldn’t work for all HIV-positive people, it’s still a step in the right direction.

The mixed-race, middle-aged woman differs from the men who have been cured because she also suffered acute myeloid leukemia four years after receiving her HIV diagnosis. Her mixed-race status complicated the search for a comparable donor, but surgeons were ultimately able to locate one to help with the procedure.

There’s still miles to go in the fight against HIV, but more studies with the stem cell procedure are underway.

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Andrew J. Stillman