The first woman with HIV is cured; she is the third in the world

The first woman with HIV is cured;  she is the third in the world

On February 15, 2022, scientists at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, School of Medicine in New York, reported that a woman became the third person to be cured of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. , after receiving an umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant.

Stem cell transplant specialists Dr. Koen Van Besien and Dr. Jingmei Hsu and infectious disease specialist Dr. Marshall Glesby led the clinical trial of the HIV-positive patient, whose identity is being withheld.

Dr. Koen Van Besien, Dr. Jingmei Hsu, and infectious disease specialist Dr. Marshall Glesby

The procedure is known as a haplocordon transplant and was developed by the Weill Cornell team to expand cancer treatment options for people with blood malignancies who lack HLA-identical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) donors. ).

Earlier, the Live Science website reported that the other two people cured of HIV, Timothy Brown and Adam Castillejo, underwent a different treatment, in which they received bone marrow transplants from donors who carried a genetic mutation that blocks HIV infection. The hiv.

The first woman with HIV is cured, it is the third in the world

Both bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, which are collected at the time of the baby’s birth and donated by the parents, contain adult hematopoietic stem cells. Those cells develop into all kinds of blood cells, including white blood cells, a key component of the immune system.

In addition to being HIV-positive, the woman suffered from acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer that affects the blood-producing cells in the bone marrow, for which she had received umbilical cord blood as a treatment for both cancer and her HIV, since his doctors identified a donor with the genetic mutation that blocks the virus.

Blood test

According to Guardian, The woman’s procedure took place in August 2017. She chose to stop taking antiretroviral drugs, the standard treatment for HIV, and 37 months after her transplant, she has been in remission from her leukemia for more than four years. Furthermore, she has not experienced any resurgent virus or HIV antibodies in her blood.

We estimate that there are approximately 50 patients per year in the United States who could benefit from this procedure.

– Dr. Koen van Besien, for ‘The Guardian’

HIV virus

According to the researchers, this was the first case of HIV treatment with umbilical cord blood. In addition, it is less invasive and more widely available than invasive bone marrow transplants, as donors do not need to be as compatible with the recipient as bone marrow donors, so it may be an option for patients with types of unusual fabric.

According to Reutersdespite its apparent success, the treatment will not be available to most of the 38 million people living with HIV worldwide, as it is currently only part of a larger study that will follow a total of 25 HIV-positive patients, who will receive haplocordon transplants for the treatment of their cancer and will be monitored by the trial organizers to see if their HIV status changes after the procedure.


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Written by Ashly le Roi

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