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Hope as second HIV patient ‘freed’ from the virus

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A HIV patient in London, who was diagnosed in 2003, has been freed from the virus after a stem cell transplant, BBC has reported.

The researchers, however, have said it is too soon to claim that the male patient has been totally cured of HIV.

According to doctors report in Nature, this is the second case of its kind after a Berlin Patient, Timothy Brown, received bone marrow transplant from a donor who is immune to the virus resulting to relief from HIV 12 years ago.

In a twist of events, the stem cell transplant in both cases were meant to treat cancer and not HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

The London patient diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2012 was receiving chemotherapy while the Berlin patient received radiotherapy together with the bone marrow transplant from HIV resistant donors.

This, nonetheless, gives hope as researchers anticipate to find cure from the approach as the two time occurrence discard oddity claims.

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Experts from Cambridge University, University College London (UCL), Oxford University and Imperial College London were included in the case.

“Both cases that resulted to remission of HIV shows that the treatment approach led to the elimination of the virus,” said Prof Ravindra Gupta the led study author from UCL.

The treatment approach still needs more research as the technique cannot be applied to millions of HIV patients world wide as it is risky and carries harsh side effects for many years.

The re-emergence of the virus also needs to be cleared out from the treatment method.

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This comes after scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu announced development of HIV vaccine of 50 percent effectiveness by 2020.

The research drew several funders who hoped the efficacy of the vaccine could be improved to 70 percent that will eventually protect over 28 million people.

In this research, the scientist are giving people antibodies directly through the IV or a drip.

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HIV was once again declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a top global health threat this year, in Kenya over one million people are reported to be infected in the latest statistics.

More infected people are seeking testing, and treatment as of last year reducing HIV-related deaths in the country.

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Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]
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