Timothy Ray Brown, the first known
person to be cured of HIV, has died of cancer. He was 54.
Known as “the Berlin patient,”
Brown, who was born in the United States, was living in Berlin when
he was diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in 1995. In
2007, he developed acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
Brown's cancer treatment included a
bone marrow transplant from a donor with a rare gene mutation, making
the donor naturally resistant to HIV. This resistance was transferred
Brown was considered cured of HIV in
2008, giving the world hope for a cure.
According to CNN, Brown had been living
with a recurrence of leukemia for the last six months. It had entered
his brain and spine.
In a Facebook post, Brown's partner Tim
Hoeffgen called him his hero.
Brown “committed his life's work to
telling his story about his HIV cure and became an ambassador of
hope,” Hoeffgen wrote.
“I am truly blessed that we shared a
life together but I'm heartbroken that my hero is now gone. Tim was
truly the sweetest person in the world. Tim's spirit will live on and
the love and support from family and friends will help me through
this most difficult time.”
According to the Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS, there are 38 million people worldwide
currently living with HIV or AIDS.
A second person effectively cured of
HIV was known as “the London patient.” Adam Castillejo received a
similar treatment given to Brown.