In the past, being diagnosed which AIDS equaled a death sentence. Since the disease was first brought to our attention in 1981 and until 2013, 1.7 million infected with the HIV virus died. There was however a chance of being cured of HIV. The man and his story proved that AIDS can be cured. His case inspired researchers from all around the world to keep searching for a cured against this ravaging disease.
The man whose story was so inspirational is called Timothy Ray Brown. But he is better known as “The Berlin Patient”. Mister Brown is now a 49-year old healthy person, living his peaceful life, and helping out other people with AIDS through his foundation called Cure for Aids Coalition.
But let’s go back a little in time. In 1995, while he has attending school in Germany, Timothy Brown, a young homosexual, learned that he was infected with the HIV virus. Shortly after, the doctors hooked him up on antiretroviral medication, in hope of slowing down the disease. This procedure worked for over a decade, until Ray Brown faced another challenged.
During a routine check-up, his doctor diagnosed him with acute myeloid leukemia or AML. This disease, also referred to as acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, is a form of cancer that affects the bone marrow’s capacity of producing blood cells. The disease is also known as producing abnormal levels of white cells that manage to build up inside the bone marrow. These abnormal white cell are the reason why the marrow is incapable of producing healthy blood cells.
Once the doctors learned of Ray Brown’s new affection, they immediately decided to begin chemotherapy. They struggled for many months to keeps his disease at bay, but, in the end, chemo didn’t show any results. Seeing that chemo is ineffective, the doctors presented chose to reveal another alternative to Ray Brown: a bone marrow transplant, also known as a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Brown agreed to the procedure, and a compatible donor was chosen for this procedure. It is worth mentioning that in the weeks before the transplant, the doctors decided to interrupt Brown’s antiretroviral therapy.
After the transplant was finished, the doctor discovered that Brown has cured of both leukemia and AIDS. His miraculous recovery has been tracked down to the donor’s genetical structure. It would seem that the donor had cells that were immune to the HIV virus. More specifically, a gene mutation is Brown’s savior. The natural mutation had the ability to silence the CCR5 gene, the one responsible for HIV’s propagation.