"HIV Release" by Bette Korber at Los Alamos National Laboratory / Public Domain

Could a Third Person Be Cured of HIV?

Mar 7, 2019

By Rachael Rettner

On the heels of the news that a U.K. man may be cured of HIV comes the announcement that a man in Germany may also be HIV-free thanks to a similar treatment.

On Monday (March 4), researchers announced that a U.K. man — known as the “London patient” — was HIV-free following a bone marrow transplant. The London patient was only the second person ever reported to experience long-term remission from the virus without the need for medications.

Then, on Tuesday (March 5), a different group of researchers announced a possible third case: the “Düsseldorf patient.” This patient is also HIV-free after receiving a bone marrow transplant, according to a statement from IciStem, the research collaboration project tracking the patients. However, the Düsseldorf patient has been off HIV medications for only 3.5 months, meaning it’s too early to know if he’s cured. In contrast, the London patient has been off HIV medication for 18 months, making doctors more optimistic that he is really cured.

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