Last year, I explained that, although Timothy Ray Brown (aka "The Berlin Patient") appears to have successfully defeated HIV, it's a little too soon to claim that HIV, itself, has been defeated.
Jamie Vernon, a scientist who is working on an HIV vaccine, has a great post up on Scientific American today, which gets more into detail about the drawbacks to The Berlin Patient regimen, and why this cure might not be THE cure.
There are several reasons why Brown’s case is not likely to be translatable to the millions of others whose lives are threatened by this disease. Brown and Hütter took extreme measures and suffered dangerous setbacks in order to achieve this outcome.
First, Brown had been highly successful at controlling his infection using antiretroviral therapy. In order to undergo leukemia treatments, he agreed to stop taking his HIV drugs. This led to a dangerous spike in his viral load. Fortunately, after receiving the stem cell transplant, the virus went to undetectable levels and remained so. For the record, no one has ever stopped taking HIV drugs without experiencing a reemergence of the virus.
Image: You've got my support., a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from timothytsuihin's photostream
Hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Reuters reports. Security experts blame an advanced cyber-espionage hacker group known as DarkHotel. A senior agency official says the WHO has been facing a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Additional $15M will go to third parties and nonprofits
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