First person cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown, dies

First person cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown, dies
Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the Berlin patient, pictured in 2012. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Timothy Ray Brown – The first person cured of HIV – has died from cancer.

Mr. Brown was also known as “the Berlin patient”. He was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV in 2007.

It meant Timothy Ray Brown no longer needed anti-viral drugs and he remained free of the virus, which can lead to Aids for the rest of his life.

Mr Brown gave the world hope that a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cure was possible, the International Aids Society said.

The 54-year-old Mr Brown was born in the US, and was diagnosed with HIV while he lived in Berlin in 1995. He then developed a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia in 2007.

Mr Brown’s treatment involved destroying his bone marrow, which was producing the cancerous cells and then having a bone marrow transplant.

The transfer came from a donor that had a rare mutation in part of their DNA called the CCR5 gene.

CCR5 is a set of genetic instructions that build the doorway that (HIV) walks through to infect cells.

Mutations to CCR5 essentially lock the door and give people resistance to HIV.

Mr. Brown told the BBC in 2012: “I quit taking my medication on the day that I got the transplant, after three months there was no HIV any more in my body.”

The virus was never detected in his body again and he was in effect “cured.”

He added: “I was excited about it, but I still kind of feared it might come back, but it didn’t.”

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