2 'Cured' of HIV After Bone Marrow Transplants

Process holds promise for HIV sufferers

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 27, 2012 4:56 AM CDT | Updated Jul 27, 2012 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two men given bone marrow transplants no longer have any HIV virus detectable in their blood, creating hope that researchers could be closing in on a cure for the disease that causes AIDS, reports ABC News. The transplants occurred while both men were undergoing anti-retroviral therapy, suggesting that the two treatments together could hold the secret to a cure.

"We expected HIV to vanish from the patients’ plasma, but it is surprising that we can’t find any traces of HIV in their cells," said one of the doctors. The case is similar to the man who was cured of HIV after getting stem-cell therapy for leukemia, but, as the bone marrow transplant patients are still taking their anti-retroviral medications, doctors are not yet 100% sure whether they are completely cured. Doctors also note that bone marrow transplants are expensive and too dangerous for many HIV patients.

Visitors looking at the AIDS Quilt on exhibit on the Washington Mall from April 29, 2000.
Visitors looking at the AIDS Quilt on exhibit on the Washington Mall from April 29, 2000.   (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison, File)
Two men with HIV who received bone marrow transplants now appear to be free of the virus, creating hope for a potential cure.
Two men with HIV who received bone marrow transplants now appear to be free of the virus, creating hope for a potential cure.   (Shutterstock)
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