Doctors on Tuesday at the 23rd
International AIDS Conference reported on a Sao Paulo man who has
been in HIV remission for more than 15 months following an
experimental drug therapy.
Scientists cautioned it was way too
early to discuss a possible cure.
The 35-year-old man took part in a
clinical trial with four other people who were HIV positive. Only he
achieved HIV remission. A similar 30-person trial based on related
approaches also did not succeed.
“This happened to one person, and one
person only,” said
Dr. Monica Gandhi, who specializes in AIDS at the University of
California, San Francisco.
The Brazilian man joined the clinical
trial in September 2015. Added to his standard three-drug cocktail
were dolutegravir, maraviroc, and nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3
that is believed to reactivate dormant HIV.
After nearly a year, he returned to his
standard drug combination for two years. In March 2019, he stopped
taking all HIV medicines. His virus load has been undetectable since
Two men are believed to be cured of
HIV. The London Patient and the Berlin Patient went into long-term
remission after each received a bone marrow transplant to treat
leukemia or lymphoma from a donor with a rare genetic mutation. This
procedure is expensive and dangerous.
Dr. Ricardo Diaz of the University of
Sao Paulo said that he believes the Brazilian man “might be cured”
but warned it was too early to tell.
Similar stories about viral suppression
have ended in disappointment. An example would be the Mississippi
baby who was “cured” for more than two years before her virus