Quirks & Quarks

Cured: How the Berlin Patients Defeated HIV

A new book describes how experimental treatments functionally cured two men of HIV, and what this might mean in the search for a cure that will work on more people....

A new book describes how experimental treatments functionally cured two men of HIV, and what this might mean in the search for a cure that will work on more people.

There are an estimated 34-million people world-wide infected with HIV. And for them, a cure may seem like an impossible dream. But for two men, known as the Berlin patients, it is a reality. They were the first to be functionally cured of HIV. In 1996, Christian Hahn, a German man, became the very first, after receiving an experimental drug within days of becoming infected. The second was an American living in Berlin, named Timothy Ray Brown, 12 years later. He received a bone-marrow stem-cell transplant of HIV resistant cells. Their stories - as well as those of their respective doctors who were instrumental in finding cures - are documented in the new book, Cured, How The Berlin Patients Defeated HIV And Forever Changed Medical Science, by molecular biologist Dr. Nathalia Holt.

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