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CATIE update on the “London patient”


CATIE welcomes the news of a second case of long-term remission of HIV in a patient following a bone marrow transplant from a donor with an HIV-resistant genetic mutation. While the patient must still be monitored to ensure that HIV does not rebound, this case will help guide research towards an HIV cure.

The case, published today in the journal Nature and presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), involved an HIV-positive man in London, England, receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a genetic mutation known to be resistant to HIV infection. Antiretroviral therapy was discontinued following the transplant, and the patient remains in long-term remission after 19 months, with no viral rebound. This is a similar approach to the procedure performed on the “Berlin patient”, the first case of an HIV cure published in 2007.

While the case is promising news for HIV cure researchers, it is important to note that bone marrow transplants are medically complex and carry risks. Although this is not a feasible strategy for curing HIV on a mass scale, the findings may guide researchers working on gene and antibody therapies for HIV.

CATIE congratulates and thanks the researchers and participants for this important contribution to HIV cure research. Our science and medicine editor Sean Hosein is at CROI and will publish more details at www.catie.ca in the coming weeks.