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Man Cured of AIDS: 'I Feel Good'

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    The fact that Timothy Brown is a reasonably healthy 46-year-old is no small thing. Only a few years ago, he had AIDS.
    "I feel good," Brown told ABC News. "I haven't had any major illnesses, just occasional colds like normal people."
    Brown is the only person in the world to be cured of AIDS, the result of a transplant of blood stem cells he received to treat leukemia.
    "My case is the proof in concept that HIV can be cured," he said.
    Brown got lucky. The blood stem cells he received came from a donor with a special genetic mutation that made him resistant to HIV. The genetic mutation occurs in less than 1 percent of Caucasians, and far less frequently in people of other races. Before Brown got his transplant in 2007, doctors tested nearly 70 donors for this genetic mutation before they found one who was a match.
    But doctors hope that a similar solution could help other people with HIV: umbilical cord blood transplants.
    Dr. Lawrence Petz, medical director of StemCyte, an umbilical cord blood bank, said although Brown was cured by his transplant, the process was complicated because the blood stem cells came from an adult donor.
    "When you do that you have to have a very close match between donor and recipient," Petz said. "With umbilical cord blood, we don't need such a close match. It's far easier to find donor matches."
    But it's still not that easy. Petz and his colleagues have tested 17,000 samples of cord blood so far, and found just 102 that have the genetic HIV-resistant mutation. The team performed the first cord blood transplant on an HIV-infected patient a few weeks ago, and they have another transplant planned for a similar patient in Madrid, Spain, later this year. It will still be months before researchers can tell if the transplants have any effect on the patients' HIV.
    Petz also noted that transplants aren't performed solely to treat AIDS. Patients who get them have an additional condition that requires a blood stem cell transplant. Curing their AIDS would be an incredible bonus.
    "It can be done. It's just a matter of time," Petz said.
    Brown had his transplant in February 2007. Today, his body shows no signs of the virus.
    Brown said he feels guilty being the only person to have been cured of the virus when millions still live with it. But he hopes his story will inspire others that a cure is possible.
    "I don't want to be the only person in the world cured of HIV. I want a cure for everyone," he said.
    UGRev, chelloveck and tulianr like this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A promising development

    An interesting report...I wonder how much opposition there will be to the development of this avenue of research and from what direction it will come. I am sure that pharmaceutical companies will be competing to be the first to patent the cure and control the exclusive rights to marketing it.

    There is a long way to go before a practical cure for the disease can be formulated for mass application, but it is an encouraging development.

    Mr Brown is fortunate, and his feelings of survivor guilt is understandable...he is indeed fortunate to be living in a time of evidence based research, centred on the scientific method of enquiry.

    tulianr likes this.
  3. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    Is this the guy formerly only identified as "Berlin Patient"?
  4. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    If only we could find a cure for the behavior that causes AIDS. No...it's not what you're thinking....it's a cure for making bad decisions. All STDs are a result of bad decisions leading to acts that pre-dispose one to contracting the STD.

    What? Yes...there are no disparities .... it's all personal responsibility Jack.
  5. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    What's a shame is all the people that have been given a death sentence through no fault of their own(blood recipients,children,marital partners,ect.).
    All becouse of others immoral,unatural,dispicable,deviant behavior.
  6. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Yep....those are far and few in between now.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Defeating AIDS is a public health issue....

    It is a pity that HIV / AIDS is seen as a moral issue more so than a public health issue. As far as I am concerned it is unimportant how people have contracted the disease (1), what is important is reducing the pool of infected individuals to minimise the spread of the disease. I can't see how shaming and stigmatising the victims helps in any meaningful way in reducing the pool of infected individuals. Indeed, I can see that shaming and stigmatisation works in favour of enlarging the pool of HIV /AIDS infected individuals.

    When harm minimisation measures are frustrated and discouraged by religious institutions, I think that it is more than the victims to which the moral microscope can be directed (2). For example, for some priests / missionaries, using condoms contrary to the doctrines of the church may be seen as a worse sin than committing the fornication / rape of nuns as a means of avoiding HIV / AIDS.

    BBC News | EUROPE | Vatican 'knew of widespread abuse'

    the source link in the following web page seems to be broken, but the sources that it cites is corroborated by the BBC News website link shown above.

    Vatican Admits Priests are Raping Nuns Around the World


    Note 1 From an epidemiological point of view it is important to identify who, how, why, where, when and under what conditions people contract HIV/AIDS, but as to the moral dimension of their contracting the disease, as far as I am concerned they are all human, and regardless of whether they contracted the disease due to no fault of their own, or as a consequence of their own risk taking behaviour. It doesn't change the fact that the afflicted require treatment to minimise the risk and harm to the broader community. As a matter of sound health policy, communities promote the development of drugs, diagnostic methodologies, and public health programs to protect the broader community against the risks posed by the few who do succumb to infectious disease. No sane person would suggest that the fight against cervical cancer should be stopped: but some folk, both cleric and lay, based on the moral tenets of their faith have put obstacles in the way of the adoption of the HPV (Gardasil) anti cervical cancer vaccine, arguing among other things, that reducing the risk of cervical cancer would result in greater promiscuity by young women. Some social conservatives have supported the adoption of anti HPV vaccination, provided that vaccination is voluntary, evidently weighing the health of their children as being more important than moral issues.

    Anti-Vaccine Activists and Conservative Christians vs HPV Vaccination | The SkeptVet Blog

    Catholic Church Warns New Vaccine May Increase Underage Sex | Christian News on Christian Today

    Note 2. I'm arguing that the moral microscope should examine the morality of societal institutions, both sectarian and secular that impede the adoption of health policies and measures that would improve the health of the community overall.
    UGRev, tulianr and RightHand like this.
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