A Possible Breakthrough in HIV Treatment

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A Possible Breakthrough in HIV Treatment

Alexa Estrada, Contributing Writer

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HIV is a very serious and fatal infection that not only lessens the strength of the human immune system and increases the risk of further infections and diseases, but it can also reduce a lifespan if untreated or treated poorly. It kills approximately 1 million people annually. On Wednesday, March 6, a group of researchers released news that a third patient may have been completely cured of HIV. This patient is known as the “Dusseldorf patient” (the first patient reportedly cured was the “Berlin patient” and the second one the “London patient”). Both the Berlin and London patients were cured using a treatment with stem cell transplants from donors who had uncommon genetic mutations known as CCR5-delta 32, which makes them immune to the HIV disease. The lead author of the study, Ravindra Gupta, explains that the treatment is not suitable for all HIV patients, but it is definitely promising for many patients and may provide new treatment strategies that work for others. The Dusseldorf patient’s condition will continue to be monitored, but as of now he continues to be in remission.