'Cured' HIV Patients Get Some Bad News
Disease reappears after promising bone marrow treatment
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2013 4:50 PM CST
Researcher Timothy Henrich, of the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, speaks at the International AIDS Society Conference 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

(Newser) – The world let up a tentative cheer this summer when Boston researchers revealed that they'd seemingly eradicated HIV in two patients following risky bone marrow transplants. But it turns out the virus was more resilient than they'd thought. The virus has returned in both patients, the researchers revealed at a conference yesterday, according to the Boston Globe. The findings are only preliminary, but "we felt it would be scientifically unfair to not let people know how things are going, especially for potential patients," lead scientist Timothy Henrich said.

The virus first reared its head in a blood sample taken from one of the patients in August. He went back on his medication, but the other patient elected not to—until he, too, got the bad news in November, after eight months of apparent health. Still, researchers believe they've gained valuable insight from the study. "This suggests that we need to look deeper, or we need to be looking in other tissues," Henrich said. The "liver, gut, or brain" could all be harboring the virus.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Parker Gabriel
Dec 7, 2013 4:15 PM CST
Why did everyone continue to refer to it by coined acronyms that had been overworked past the death instead of by its CORRECT name, "immunoclastic leprosy?" Leprosy was NOT a single disease, the "Hansen's" strain, "Mycobacterium leprae hansenii," was one of dozens if not hundreds of strains of a disease that was as old, at least, as intelligence on the planet. "Mycovirus leprae immunoclasmus," to use its CORRECT name, was just one of the most recently identified strains.
Holly Williams
Dec 7, 2013 12:31 PM CST
This is really sad. I had hoped that maybe they had found a potential cure for this horrendous disease.
Scott603
Dec 7, 2013 10:30 AM CST
The United States invented most of modern medicine, as well as technology. Because of us people live to 85 instead of 35, we invented anesthesia, airplanes, microprocessors, lasers, telephones, CT scanners, and more. I suspect that someday we will find cures for HIV and cancer as well. Sadly, we are at close to the bottom of the world for empathy and compassion. But I think that is just starting to change. For decades we just accepted high levels of bullying without a thought, and now that is rapidly changing.