AIDS Cure Breakthrough - SF Man Becomes First

A 45-year-old man now living in the San Francicso Bay Area may be the first person ever cured of the deadly disease AIDS, the result of the discovery of an apparent HIV immunity gene.

Timothy Ray Brown tested positive for HIV back in 1995, but has now entered scientific journals as the first man in world history to have that HIV virus completely eliminated from his body in what doctors call a “functional cure.”

Scientists said Brown received stem cells from a donor who was immune to HIV. In fact, about one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV. Some researchers think the immunity gene goes back to the Great Plague: people who survived the plague passed their immunity down and their heirs have it today.

UCSF’s Dr. Jay Levy, who co-discovered the HIV virus and is one of the most respected AIDS researchers in the world, said this case opens the door to the field of “cure research,” which is now gaining more attention as the ferocity of AIDS in Africa and western nations has not subsided.

Note that the source material did not from fetal stem cells, but cells from another adult, who had a match with the patient, and an innate immunity to the disease.

AIDS prevention has also been making breakthrough advances.  Giving AIDS drugs to people infected with HIV can protect their uninfected spouses and other sexual partners, U.S. researchers report.