Cure for HIV?
An American man living in Berlin, Germany developed acute myeloid leukemia and required a bone marrow transplant of adult stem cells. The doctors began looking for a very specific donor, one who not only matched the tissue of the recipient but also lacked the CCR5 receptor on CD4 white blood cells.
The CCR5 receptor is what the HIV commonly uses to attach to CD4 cells and with this missing, the HIV would not be able to attach and thus infect CD4 cells. The doctors also looked for a person who had two copies of this mutation (one from the father and one from the mother) dubbed delta32. However, this is very rare. Among the 232 matched donors found by the German Central Bone Marrow Donor Registry, the researchers found only one with the double CCR5 mutation.
Bone marrow transplant is very risky and only about two third survive. This transplant was successful and the recipient was also taken off all of his HIV medication. It has been two years and to date, there is not trace of the HIV in his bone marrow, blood and tissues.
Although the high risk of this treatment would make it unethically probable for people who are not in the late-stage of leukemia, not to mention the incredible cost making it ineffective for treatment in third world countries, I see this as a huge step forward in finding a cure for HIV.
Let us never fail in praying for a cure for HIV and AIDS. Will you join me?
Belfast Telegraph The Body
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