A woman who’s known as the “New York Patient” has possibly been cured of HIV – making her the world’s first woman to technically be treated for the life-taking disease. She got cured through a rare and dangerous stem-cell treatment. This woman had a tough life, she was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and leukemia, a cancer of the blood, in 2017.
Her conditions, however, made her a suitable candidate to receive this dangerous treatment – and it worked on her, making history in the process. The previous three survivors of HIV treatment were men, the fourth is this woman.
This treatment, being risky and difficult, requires a special donor with a rare mutation that’s immune to HIV. After finding that specific donor, doctors perform a procedure called haploidentical cord transplantation – which takes the donor’s umbilical cord & bone marrow. This blood is especially effective against leukemia.
According to NBC – Dr. Koen van Besien, who has been one of the leading doctors in this case, said:
“The role of the adult donor cells is to hasten the early engraftment process and render the transplant easier and safer,”
The “New York Patient” received her treatment for four years, resulting in her body becoming resistant to HIV. During her treatment, the doctors tried several methods to see the reaction of HIV in her body but her body didn’t react – proving her case to be possibly “cured.”
This huge milestone will pave the way towards a treatment that can save millions of lives around the world. Dr. Yvonne Bryson spoke to NBC about how major this step is:
“I’m excited that it’s turned out so well for her,”
Dr. Bryson further stated that this case provides:
“more hope and more options for the future”
While speaking about The New York patient and her current condition, Dr. Bryson said:
“She’s enjoying her life,”
And about her disease, Dr. Bryson said the patient is:
“asymptomatic and healthy.”
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