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A man was cured of HIV and leukemia after stem cell transplant

Published Feb 27th, 2024 2:13PM EST
Stem cells operation
Image: Vadim / Adobe

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Research into stem cells has paid off as 68-year-old Paul Edmonds remains effectively cured of both HIV and leukemia following treatment that included a breakthrough stem cell transplant in 2019. Now, five years after the treatment, Edmonds continues to live his life free of HIV and leukemia.

This makes Edmonds one of only five people in the world who have achieved full remission of HIV. Further, his 31 years of living with the virus also means he had it the longest out of the five in remission. It’s a striking accomplishment that he has remained in remission for so long and showcases just how effective these kinds of treatments can be.

Stem cell transplants aren’t a new idea, either. What particularly makes this treatment so effective and intriguing, though, is that the transplant donor had a rare genetic mutation called homozygous CCR5 delta 32. This mutation makes people immune to most types of HIV.

3d rendered HIV Virus
3D rendering of the HIV virus which Edmonds was cured of. Image source: RAJCREATIONZS / Adobe

Only around two percent of people in the world are estimated to have this rare mutation. Edmonds received the treatment at City of Hope, a top cancer treatment and research center located in California. Officials at City of Hope say that “remission can be achieved with a lower-intensity regimen than the therapy received by the four other patients that went into remission for HIV and cancer.”

Further, the medical center says that as people continue to live with these diseases, we’ll find even more ways to treat them and hopefully send more patients into remission. Paul Edmonds’ success story with a stem cell transplant is one that is inspiring for people living with HIV and leukemia.

Further, the fact that Edmonds was able to receive treatment so late in life means that you’re never too old to get the help you need and go into remission. Scientists continue to look for ways to treat these terrible diseases, including new cancer treatments and even ways to hopefully treat mental diseases like Alzheimer’s and more.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.