Meet Timothy Ray Brown, a US citizen who resides in Berlin, is the first HIV-infected man that had a stem cell transplant as a treatment for leukemia; after receiving bone marrow from a donor who had natural resistance to HIV infection doctors now can affirm that Timothy is cured form the HIV virus. According toAIDSMAP.
The `Berlin patient`, Timothy Ray Brown, a US citizen who lives in Berlin, was interviewed this week by German news magazine Stern.
His course of treatment for leukaemia was gruelling and lengthy. Brown suffered two relapses and underwent two stem cell transplants, as well as a serious neurological disorder that flared up when he seemed to be on the road to recovery.
The neurological problem led to temporary blindness and memory problems. Brown is still undergoing physiotherapy to help restore his coordination and gait, as well as speech therapy.
Friends have noticed a personality change too: he is much more blunt, possibly a disinhibition that is related to the neurological problems.
On being asked if it would have been better to live with HIV than to have beaten it in this way he says ?Perhaps. Perhaps it would have been better, but I don?t ask those sorts of questions anymore.?
Timothy Brown is now considering a move from Berlin to Barcelona or San Francisco, and, reports Stern magazine, enjoying a drink and a cigarette.
The implications of this case are endless, and they bring a new direction to the development of HIV treatments. In the future scientists would be able to focus on a cure for HIV infection using genetically engineered stem cells, which could be transferred to HIV positive patients either through transplants or gene therapy. This discovery is a big step that could lead the eradication of HIV.
This is the kind of news that puts a smile on everybody?s face. Just the thought of a possible cure that can help all of the people who struggle with this disease is so encouraging. It will probably take years or even decades to make this possible, but as long as scientists keep working with the governments in order to finally put an end to this disease, there is a big chance that someday HIV will be not only treatable but also curable.
Timothy, in my eyes you?re truly a hero. Thanks to all the suffering and pain you?ve had to endure to regain your health, millions of people infected with HIV can now see a ray of hope. I do hope you can keep improving with your therapy and I wish you a long, healthy and happy life.