London patient second in world to be cleared of HIV – researchers

A London hospital patient is the second person in the world to be cleared of the Aids causing virus, HIV, doctors have said.

The male patient has achieved "sustained remission" from HIV after being treated at Hammersmith Hospital in west London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said.

The case report, led by researchers at UCL and Imperial College London, comes around a decade after the first known case in Berlin.

In 2003, the male patient was diagnosed with HIV infection and developed an Aids defining cancer, advanced Hodgkin's Lymphoma, in 2012.

In 2016, he received a transplant of haematopoietic stem cells from a donor carrying a genetic mutation in the HIV receptor CCR5, which hinders the HIV virus from entering human cells.

He has now been in remission for 18 months after his antiretroviral drugs were discontinued, researchers said.

Professor Eduardo Olavarria, from Imperial College London, said: "While it is too premature to say with certainty that our patient is now cured of HIV, he is clearly in a long-term remission.

"We continue to monitor his condition, however the apparent success of this treatment injects new hope in the search for a long-awaited cure for HIV/Aids."

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