American scientists have succeeded in eliminating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, from a woman’s body.
The woman was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and, like the tens of thousands of people who are infected each year, faced lifelong antiretroviral therapy to prevent the virus from destroying their immune system.
In 2017 the woman contracted leukemia, which is why the doctors underwent a transplant in which blood from the umbilical cord of a donor and a blood transfusion from a close relative were used.
The doctors discovered that some time later the HIV virus had disappeared from the patient’s body, explained a group of researchers at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in Denver (Colorado, United States).
This is the third case worldwide in which a person is completely cured of this virus and the first in which the patient is a woman of multiethnic origin. In addition, it is the second case in which umbilical cord blood is used.
According to specialists, this bone marrow transplant technique is not widely used in AIDS patients because it is very aggressive for them and has many side effects.
Only two cases of complete HIV remission had been confirmed, both after donor bone marrow transplants. The first was that of a Caucasian man known as the berlin patient, who was in remission for more than a decade before passing away in 2020 from his cancer. The other case is a Latino man dubbed the London patient, who has been HIV-free for more than two years.