Scientists Discover Second Person Who Naturally Cured Themselves Of HIV

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new report said that scientists have found a second individual who has appeared to have naturally recovered from HIV. That report was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine from a collection of doctors across the world, including Dr. Xu Yu of the Ragon Institute of Mass. General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University.

According to the report, a sterilizing cure of HIV-1 infection has been found in a second person living with the disease. Yu was one of the senior authors and immunologists on the new report of the second person to be naturally cured of HIV, and along with her colleagues, nicknamed the miraculous patient as the "Esperanza Patient" to protect her identity.

According to the report posted on the Annals of Internal Medicine, the results came after patients underwent stem cell transplantations from donors, something that has been considered elusive during natural infection. With samples of the placenta, targeted for its maternal immune cells, scientists reported that they could not find any sign of stealth viruses in the "Esperanza Patient."

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

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The report said scientists aimed to evaluate HIV-1 reservoir cells in an elite controller with undetectable HIV-1 viremia for more than 8 years without antiretroviral therapy.

Care centers were detailed to be located across the world, in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Boston.

As a part of the limitations listed in the report, scientists said that a sterilizing cure of HIV-1 can never be empirically proven. The report said that the "absence of evidence for intact HIV-1 proviruses in large numbers of cells is not evidence of absence of intact HIV-1 proviruses."

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