First HIV patient to be cured, now died of cancer


Timothy Ray Brown
Photo: rr

Timothy Ray Brown, the first HIV patient to be cured of the disease, has died. He was cured of cancer but relapsed early this year.

The “Berlin patient”, as Brown was called for years to protect his identity, was diagnosed in 1995 in Berlin where he was living at the time. Because he was actually American.

In 2007 he received a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV. Afterwards he no longer needed antiviral drugs and the virus disappeared, which can lead to AIDS. The International AIDS Society then said that Brown gave the world hope that an HIV cure was indeed possible.

“I stopped taking my medication the day I got the transplant, after three months there was no more HIV in my body,” he testified to the British BBC in 2012.

But the leukemia, which led to his HIV cure and which he had now also got rid of, re-emerged earlier this year. And forecasts were downright bad. Metastases to the brain and spinal cord. That has now become fatal for him.

Cure second patient

In the meantime, a second person has been cured of HIV, Adam Castillejo. He had received similar treatment to Brown and was able to get off his HIV drugs.

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