Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7 Day Forecast
Follow our weather team on social media

Researchers say a second person has been naturally cured of HIV

2 years 7 months 3 days ago Tuesday, November 16 2021 Nov 16, 2021 November 16, 2021 7:11 AM November 16, 2021 in News
Source: Business Insider

Researchers say a second person who was diagnosed with HIV has been cured of the virus without receiving any stem cell treatments.

According to Business Insider, the unnamed 30-year-old woman from Argentina is only the second person in the world whose body has managed to cure itself of the virus. 

Research on her case was published Monday, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The research refers to her as “Esperanza Patient” in an effort to protect her identity.

According to scientists, Esperanza Patient was diagnosed with HIV in 2013, and by 2017 scientists could not find any traces of the virus in her DNA.

Ever cautious, researchers initially hesitated to label Esperanza Patient as "HIV-free" and instead, performed an exhaustive search for traces of the virus in her system. Throughout years of searching, they found no such traces.

She gave birth to a child in March of 2020 and, aiming to be thorough, scientists even checked her placenta and found no evidence of HIV. 

The following year, she was officially deemed HIV-free via a naturally achieved "sterilizing cure" and is described as a rare "elite controller" of the virus.

A case like this has only been reported once before, when a once HIV-positive woman named Loreen Willenberg in 2020 became the first known subject to experience a sterilizing cure without a medical intervention.

Willenberg and Esperanza Patient are both known as elite controllers.

Two other patients who were cured of HIV became virus-free via a different method. Both received a highly toxic bone marrow transplant. 

This second case of a naturally achieved sterilizing cure has given many researchers a reason for hope. 

Xu Yu, an immunologist at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard and senior author on the new report touched on this when referring to the case.

Yu said, “This gives us hope that the human immune system is powerful enough to control HIV and eliminate all the functional virus. Time will tell, but we believe she has reached a sterilizing cure.”

More News

Desktop News

Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
7 Days