Hello all,

I thought i should share with you this news that i drew from Aids-Africa.Though we are still far in the struggle,every step should be lauded...

"A bone marrow transplant has successfully cured a man of both leukaemia and HIV.

An HIV positive man who received a bone marrow transplant after developing leukaemia appears to have been cured of HIV.

The American man in his forties, was living in Berlin when he developed acute myeloid leukemia. When chemotherapy failed to treat his condition, he was given two bone marrow stem cell transplants chosen from a donor who had a natural genetic resistance to HIV.

Around one to three in every hundred people have a gene mutation which gives them a natural resistance to HIV. The virus can only infect human cells by interacting with two 'receptors' located on the surface of the cell, known as the CD4 and CCR5 receptors. However, a small minority of people with a genetic mutation lack the CCR5 receptor, making it extremely difficult for the virus to enter their cells.

The HIV patient's doctors deliberately chose a bone marrow donor with the gene mutation.

Three years on and the man is free of both HIV and leukaemia and is not being treated with anti-retroviral medicines. No trace of the virus has been found in the blood or other parts of the body where HIV can hide out such as the intestines, lymph nodes or the brain.

And all of the patient's new blood and bone marrow cells are of the HIV-resistant kind, without the CCR5 receptor.

However, as bone marrow transplants are risky and complicated procedures, they cannot be widely used as a cure for HIV.

In the journal Blood, the doctors from the Charite University Hospital, Berlin say their findings "strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved" in their patient."

I am sure this is a new pointer for researchers,towards more discovery.

In Comradeship, Leah.

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