At the moment over 34 million people worldwide are affected with AIDS, according to the World Health Organization.
Doctors in Spain believe they have just found the cure to HIV. They use blood grafts in the umbilical cords of people with a genetic resistance to HIV. With this procedure they already cured one man in only three months.
Later, the patient died from lymphoma, before receiving the trial treatment in Berlin, stated the Spanish news site The Local. The patient got bone marrow transplant from a donor who carried the resistance mutation from HIV. The HIV virus had disappeared after a transplant of blood.
The CCR5 Delta 35 mutation affects a protein in white blood cells and provides an estimated 1% of the human population with high resistance to infection from HIV, report The Local.
“We suggested a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord but from someone who had the mutation because we knew from ‘the Berlin patient’ that as well as [ending] the cancer, we could also eradicate HIV,” said Rafael Duarte, the director of the Hematopoietic Transplant Programme at the Catalan Oncology Institute in Barcelona, for The Local.
Before the transplant of bone marrow was made, the blood cells are destroyed with a chemotherapy. Then, the new mutation cells are implanted. This cells are not able to bind with the HIV virus. In this process were also used stem cells from another donor, in order to speed up the regeneration.
Eleven days after the bone marrow transplant, the patient recovered. It was found that three months later he had no more HIV!
The treatment is principally aimed at assisting HIV patients suffering from cancer, but added that “this therapy does allow us to speculate about a cure for HIV.” – said Javier Martinez, a virologist from the research foundation Irsicaixa.
This process should start taking place till the end of 2016.