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The HIV virus of two more patients has been suppressed, thanks to a bone marrow transplant, the Boston Globe reported. Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the ‘Berlin patient,’ underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia, using a donor with a rare gene mutation that provides natural resistance to HIV. Doctors declared him "cured" soon after. These two new patients were also seeking treatment for cancer, according to the newspaper.
And although researchers in California recently found traces of HIV in his tissues. Brown said any remnants of the virus still in his body are dead and can't replicate. Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard were careful not to use the word ‘cured’ while presenting at the 2012 International AIDS Conference; but experts are hopeful this provides insight that will lead to a possible cure one day.
Approximately eight months after the transplants, doctors said the patients’ blood did not show any trace of HIV infection. “They went from this easily measured amount in their blood to no measurable amount in their cells,” said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We frankly didn’t expect that.”