BBC- September 30, 2020

The first person cured of HIV - Timothy Ray Brown - has died from cancer.

Mr Brown, who was also known as "the Berlin patient", was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV in 2007.

It meant he no longer needed anti-viral drugs and he remained free of the virus, which can lead to Aids, for the rest of his life.

The International Aids Society said Mr Brown gave the world hope that an HIV cure was possible.

Mr Brown, 54, who was born in the US, was diagnosed with HIV while he lived in Berlin in 1995. Then in 2007 he developed a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia.

His treatment involved destroying his bone marrow, which was producing the cancerous cells, and then having a bone marrow transplant.

The transfer came from a donor that had a rare mutation in part of their DNA called the CCR5 gene.

HIV resistance

CCR5 is a set of genetic instructions that build the doorway that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) walks through to infect cells.

Mutations to CCR5 essentially lock the door and give people resistance to HIV.

"I quit taking my medication on the day that I got the transplant, after three months there was no HIV any more in my body," Mr Brown told the BBC in 2012.

The virus was never detected in his body again. He was in effect "cured".

"I was excited about it, but I still kind of feared it might come back, but it didn't," he added.

But the leukaemia, that led to his HIV cure, returned earlier this year and spread to his brain and spinal cord.

"It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away... surrounded by myself and friends, after a five-month battle with leukaemia," his partner Tim Hoeffgen posted on Facebook.

He added: "Tim committed his life's work to telling his story about his HIV cure and became an ambassador of hope." ...
Read full report at BBC