International – Milestone reached as HIV remission achieved in second patient

A research paper led by UCL and Imperial College London has reported that a patient treated with stem cell transplant has been in remission from HIV for 18 months and is no longer taking HIV drugs.

The breakthrough, published in Nature journal, suggests that the first case a decade ago was not a one-off and could potentially pave the way for future treatments.

Imperial College reported that both patients were treated with stem cell transplants from donors carrying a genetic mutation that prevents expression of an HIV receptor CCR5. Their white blood cells were replaced with HIV-resistant versions, but the authors say it is still too early to say with certainty that he has been cured of HIV, and will continue to monitor his condition.

The researchers picked a donor who had two copies of a mutation in the CCR5 gene, which gives people resistance to HIV infection. This gene codes for a receptor which sits on the surface of white blood cells involved in the body’s immune response…