News & Stories

Have Doctors in Spain ‘Cured’ HIV patient with blood transplant?


Spanish scientists are hopeful blood transplants from the umbilical cord of people with genetic resistance to HIV could provide a future treatment option in the battle against the Aids-causing virus after managing to ‘cure’ a patient in just three months. A 37-year-old man from Barcelona, who had been infected with the HIV virus in 2009, was cured of the condition after receiving a transplant of blood from such an umbilical cord. Unfortunately, the man died of cancer having developed lymphoma…

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Immune cells proposed as HIV hideout don’t last in primate model


Where does HIV hide? Antiretroviral drugs can usually control the virus, but can’t completely eliminate it. So any strategy to eradicate HIV from the body has to take into account not only the main group of immune cells the virus targets, called CD4 or helper T cells, but other infected cells as well. New research from Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, sheds light on the question of which cells support viral replication and persistence, and the answers have…

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Research for Prevention conference opens with real hope for an HIV vaccine


“There’s only one Berlin Patient still. But by this time next year he will at least be joined by 40-50 Portland monkeys.” This was vaccine researcher Louis Picker, summarizing in quotable form why the outlook for the development of an effective HIV vaccine is brighter than it has been for years, in a satellite session in advance of the HIV Research for Prevention conference (R4P) in Cape Town, South Africa, which opens fully today. Picker was speaking about his research…

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The City of Love Could Lead the Way Toward Ending HIV Transmission


As we enter our fourth decade without a cure for HIV, public interest in ending new infections has seemed to wane. Now’s not the time to stop talking about AIDS. With important new treatment and prevention tools in our arsenal, San Francisco — known as the City of Love — could be the first U.S. city to end HIV transmission. The world looks to San Francisco for leadership in HIV control with good reason. Driven by love and the desire…

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NIH Director: Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found If Not For Budget Cuts

NIH Director Francis Collins Interview

As the federal government frantically works to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and as it responds to a second diagnosis of the disease at home, one of the country’s top health officials says a vaccine likely would have already been discovered were it not for budget cuts. Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As…

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How Did The Berlin Patient’ Become Cured Of HIV?


Researchers are closer to unraveling the mystery of how Timothy Ray Brown, the only human cured of HIV, defeated the virus, according to a new study. Although the work doesn’t provide a definitive answer, it rules out one possible explanation. Brown remains one of the most studied cases in the HIV epidemic’s history. In 2006, after living with the virus for 11 years and controlling his infection with antiretroviral drugs, he learned that he had developed acute myeloid leukemia. (The…

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The Berlin Patient and the Mysterious Cure for HIV


For Timothy Ray Brown, the past two decades have been characterized by extremes of bad and good fortune, a streak of adversity giving way to a stroke of incredible, impossible luck. In 1995, Brown, an American living in Berlin, was diagnosed with HIV. In 2006—having kept the virus in check for 11 years with antiretroviral drugs—he was diagnosed with another life-threatening illness: acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer that attacks the bone marrow and spreads to the blood. When radiation and…

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Only One Person Has Been Cured Of HIV, And Now A New Study Could Explain Why


To this date, only one person is thought to have been cured of HIV — the “Berlin patient” Timothy Ray Brown. But no one is exactly sure which aspect of Brown’s treatment may have cured him. Now a new experiment on monkeys provides more evidence that a rare genetic mutation in the person who donated bone marrow to Brown may have had a central role in his cure. Brown’s HIV was eradicated in 2007 after he underwent a treatment in…

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How Many People Have Been Cured of HIV? One.


Several reports being presented to coincide with an international AIDS conference this week may at first raise hopes that it could be possible to cure HIV infection. But two other major developments make it clear that it’s pretty much back to the drawing board for researchers trying to find a way to thwart the virus. In one report, researchers at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Kirby Institute in Sydney, Australia, say two men who got bone marrow transplants to treat…

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HIV Vaccine: Scientists Push For Access Over Profit

cure for AIDS image 1

As the world inches closer to the discovery of a vaccine for HIV, experts at the ongoing 2014 AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, have promised to push for access over profit and provide a hedge against the “economic agenda” of pharmaceuticals that mainly impact developing countries. Wayne Koff, senior vice president and chief scientific officer, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, who described vaccines as the only way to end the HIV epidemic, said the community of scientists working on the HIV…

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