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A Unique Genetic Mutation Resistant to HIV

Paul Edmonds was informed that he had HIV in September 1988 by an intern at San Francisco General Hospital.

Even worse, the infection had already severely damaged his immune system and developed into AIDS. Edmonds, 33, was present.

He believed he would pass away in a year or two because he had witnessed friends who had HIV deteriorate in a matter of months.

He said, “I remember how I felt when I heard. “My heart sank,”

Edmonds survived to his 40th, 50th, and 60th birthdays, in contrast to the majority of his infected companions.

Then, something remarkable occurred. He was one of only five individuals in the world to undergo a successful stem cell transplant from a donor in 2019, and the donor had an unique genetic mutation that made the donor’s body resistant to HIV.

Edmonds quit taking the prescription drugs he had been reliant on for half his life in 2021. He has long-term remission from both HIV and leukemia and is 67 years old and residing in California.

According to Ahmed Aribi, one of the medical professionals who cared for Edmonds at the City of Hope cancer center in Duarte, California, the treatment that successfully cured Edmonds is likely to remain incredibly rare and reserved for people with HIV and cancer.

This is because stem cell transplants carry significant risks. Currently, antiretroviral medications are taken by a large number of HIV patients, making the virus a chronic, treatable illness.

Yet, the information that researchers are gathering from the few people who have received stem cell transplants may reveal details about the virus that will help them develop new drugs or vaccinations.

Hematology professor at City of Hope Joseph Alvarnas stated, “That’s a long way from where we started.”

In 1985, while still a medical student working at San Francisco General Hospital, Alvarnas started treating patients with HIV.

Before then, the typical survival time for individuals with AIDS-related lymphoma, an immune system malignancy characterized by weight loss, fever, and excruciating night sweats, was just 30 days.

Alvarnas claimed that hundreds of Americans have been living with HIV for years, if not decades, like Edmonds.

Although Edmonds’s experience is unusual in its details, its broad strokes serve as an example of the protracted path America has taken in its fight against HIV, a journey from almost hopelessness to optimism. read full article

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