California researchers say they have found a cure for AIDS.  Doctors believe an HIV positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant in 2007 has been cured.  Forty-five year old Timothy Ray Brown tested positive for HIV in 1995.  While living in Germany, Brown was dealing with HIV and Leukemia.  In 2007, he underwent a bone marrow stem cell transplant as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia.

Scientists say Brown received stem cells from a donor who was among the one percent of Caucasians immune to the virus.  Now, Brown, also known as the “Berlin Patient”, shows no trace of HIV in his system.  “One element of his treatment, and we don’t know which, allowed the virus to be purged from his body,” says Browns doctor.   His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing “strongly suggest that a cure of  HIV infection has been achieved.”

Brown stopped taking any HIV medications the day he received the transplant and hasn’t taken any since.  His amazing progress continues to be monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and at the University of California at San Francisco medical center.  This case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells.

While these developments by no means prove a cure for the virus has been found, they can certainly provide hope for the more than 33 million people living with HIV worldwide.

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