MIT Technology Review
An unnamed man in London has become the second person worldwide to be cleared of HIV, although it is too early to say he has been “cured.”
The details: The patient received a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that makes them HIV-resistant. Specifically, the donor had two copies of a version of the CCR5 gene. The patient has been in remission and has not taken any antiretroviral drugs for 18 months.
Previous patient: This new study, reported in Nature, demonstrates that the previous case of Timothy Brown (aka the “Berlin patient”) who was cured of HIV in 2007 through a similar treatment, was not an anomaly.
CRISPR babies: The treatment suggests targeting CCR5 to make people HIV-resistant has promise. The same gene was targeted by Chinese scientist He Jiankui when he edited the genes of the twin girls Lulu and Nana using the CRISPR technique. The CCR5 gene was removed in the hopes of making them resistant to several diseases, including HIV.