The Washington PostThe Washington Post

HIV patient cured after bone marrow transplant in rare case, research shows

By Kelsey Ables

21 Feb 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The remission of HIV, usually considered a lifelong disease, has been seen in only a handful of patients. The Post reports on this promising development in treatment that could help many globally.

A man in Germany who had been diagnosed with HIV has been declared free of the virus after receiving HIV-resistant stem cells through a bone marrow transplant intended to treat leukemia. According to research published in the journal Nature Medicine on Monday, the man was monitored for more than nine years after the 2013 transplant, and there is now "strong evidence" that he has been cured.

The remission of HIV, which is usually considered lifelong, comes after a team at University Hospital Düsseldorf destroyed the patient's cancerous cells and replaced them with donor cells that lack CCR5, the receptor that HIV particles use to infect cells. In 2018, the patient went off antiretroviral therapy (ART), a treatment that keeps HIV at manageable levels, and has remained free of HIV since, the paper said.

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