Tag - berlin patient

How Researchers Are Now Trying to Cure More HIV+ People

We are constantly reading headlines about the latest HIV cure. After years of being exposed to these inflamed news reports, we may get desensitized to the fact that there is actually progress being made in that field. Ever since Timothy Brown was proven to be cured, the search for a cure for HIV that is accessible worldwide has intensified. There is more funding now as different research groups compete to get there first. But we have had set backs that have taught us important lessons.

I decided to interview two leading HIV Cure research advocates on a Google hangout (webcast) to pick their brains about what has happened to people who have entered HIV cure studies. In particular, I wanted to get an update on the outcome with people who have been exposed to stem cell transfers, stem cell/CD4 cell manipulation, and those who seemed to control the virus after stopping antiretrovirals. I hope you will find this webcast as enlightening as I did!


Richard Jefferys began working in the HIV/AIDS field in 1993 at the nonprofit AIDS Treatment Data Network in New York City. Since that time he has written for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative’s IAVI Report and, in late 2001, he joined the Treatment Action Group (TAG) where he now directs the Michael Palm Basic Science, Vaccines and Cure Project. The project covers the pathogenesis and immunology of HIV infection and advocates for the development of immune-based therapies, effective vaccines, and a cure.

Robert Reinhard serves as the Community Liaison and a Steering Committee member of the CanCURE research consortium, a Canadian national team grant to understand the role of myeloid/macrophage cells in HIV persistence and cure strategies. He is also a research associate and community team member in the University of Toronto laboratory of Mario Ostrowski developing a therapeutic HIV vaccine. Robert is a member of the International AIDS Society Towards an HIV Cure Industry Collaboration working group.


Nelson, how is the man who got cured of HIV (The Berlin Patient) doing ?

Nelson, How is Timothy Brown doing?
Jun 13, 2012

I have read some of your post about Timothy Brown, the guy who was cured of HIV. I was shocked to find out he has been struggling here in the United States after he moved from Germany. How is he doing now? How is his health? Thanks

For more click here: Nelson, how is the man who got cured of HIV (The Berlin Patient) doing ?

Doctors turn to cord blood transplants in hopes of curing patients with HIV

Timothy Brown made medical history when he became the first patient who was essentially cured of HIV, after receiving a stem cell transplant from a person who was genetically resistant to the infection.  Now, doctors are hoping to build on Brown’s success by treating HIV patients using cord blood units that have the same HIV-resistant gene.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/06/07/doctors-turn-to-cord-blood-transplants-in-hopes-curing-patients-with-hiv/#ixzz1xEyreJq2

Controversies in HIV cure research

              Great overview written in layman’s terms

Controversies in HIV cure research
Journal of the International AIDS Society 2012, 15:16      doi:10.1186/1758-2652-15-1
Rowena Johnston
Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (fbarre@pasteur.fr)

                                                                                                         Download Report

Interview with the Berlin Patient in Houston

Timothy Ray Brown, aka “The Berlin Patient,” is the first person to be declared cured of HIV. A Seattle native living in Berlin until his recent move to San Francisco, he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006 while living with HIV. Timothy underwent an innovative treatment for his cancer that resulted in not only a remission of his leukemia, but also having HIV completely eliminated from his body.
We were happy to have Brown speak on September 22 in Houston at two HIV-cure advocacy lectures sponsored by LIVE Consortium for the LGBT community and doctors at Baylor School of Medicine. His speech moved many in the audience to tears as they heard about his struggle and triumph. At the end of the speech, he was made an honorary citizen of Houston by Mayor Annise Parker. Following is a short interview with Brown.

Read more here:


The Cure of HIV is Possible- But We Need Your Help

After attending a meeting sponsored by several organizations (TAG, AMFAR, Project Inform, the AIDS Policy Project) in Baltimore on April 20-21 this year, I came to the realization that we needed a video that would wake people up to the challenges ahead of us to get to a cure of HIV that is accessible and practical.  As most of you know, the case of Timothy Brown (aka The Berlin patient), a person who got cured of HIV and leukemia 5 years ago, has jolted a new energy and hope in the search for the cure.  But most people with HIV, policy makers and potential funding sources are not fully aware of this case and what the new movement for a search for a cure are all about.  So, I decided to travel around the country to interview key players in advancing this field to make a short video that could serve as a catalyst for awareness and change. This short video, done with a very low budget with the help of my activist friend Greg Fowler, is only part of a longer, more detailed documentary to be finished before World AIDS Day this year, the 30 year anniversary of the first AIDS cases. Please watch it and forward it to your friends.  Please follow the suggestions made in that video and become part of the cure! Everyone can do something now to raise awareness and funds not only for research but also for advocacy and education in this important new and expanding area.  I hope I can count on you.

Must-See Lecture by Dr Paula Cannon on HIV Cure Research

I am happy to announce that the lecture given by Dr Paula Cannon in Houston sponsored by the Center for AIDS has been uploaded (6 parts since youtube has upload limits)
I highly recommend watching this great lecture that explains the current status and future challenges in this important field.  Dr Cannon, a charming speaker, was able to beautifully digest the information in layman’s terms for all to understand.

Nelson’s lecture in Chicago addresses aging with HIV

CHICAGO – A long-time AIDS activist and author spoke May 31 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, about recent breakthroughs in research and potential issues persons with HIV/AIDS might face as they get older.
Matt Simonette
Long-time AIDS activist and author Nelson Vergel

Nelson Vergel, who lives in Houston, said that he has lived with HIV for 27 years at the beginning of his talk, “Promising Advances in HIV Cures and Healthy Aging Research,” which was sponsored by Test Positive Aware Network.

Even as the GLBT community observes a rather grim milestone, the 30th anniversary of the CDC publishing its first reports of AIDS on June 5, 1981, Vergel said much still needs to be understood about the infection, especially its implications for the aging process.
“We’re all getting older and there are things that are showing up in all of us,” Vergel said.
Vergel, a former chemical engineer, opened by discussing the state of current research on vaccines and cures for the infection. He lamented that many pharmaceutical companies, not having made tremendous profits in recent years with HIV/AIDS drugs in America, have ratcheted back investment in that area.
“When it comes to potent new drugs, we’re getting drier and drier,” Vergel said. “Unfortunately, it is market driven.” He did add, however, that some companies have been preparing new one-pill-a-day treatments that might eventually replace more complex treatments.
“I tell people, if you take one vitamin a day, you’ll get used to this,” Vergel said.
He also discussed Timothy Ray Brown, also known as “the Berlin Patient,” who seems to have had the AIDS virus completely wiped clear from his body thanks to a stem cell bone marrow transplant.
“It’s not until now that people are using the ‘c-word,’” Vergel said.
But while Brown’s story should inspire hope—Vergel’s own mother was ready to begin a fundraiser for him so he could have the same treatment—a great deal of research and testing must take place before Brown’s situation can be duplicated.
New studies in the wake of Brown’s case “are asking for a lot from people,” according to Vergel. Subjects are expected to get off HIV meds and undergo extremely invasive testing procedures, among other requirements.
Another consideration is that chemotherapy played so heavily into Brown’s treatment. “What are we going to do with the healthy (men and women) who don’t have leukemia?” Vergel asked.
By 2015, over 50 percent of persons with HIV/AIDS will be over the age of 50. As such, both medical professionals and the government will have to rethink standard treatments for people who are aging and have the infection.
“We’re going to live longer, but what’s our quality of life going to be?” Vergel asked.
Many infected individuals, for example, must contend with facial wasting. But Medicare usually refuses to pay for treatments unless a physician marks in the patient’s file that the person is suffering from a depression brought about by the wasting.
“Most people just want to get their face back, but you have to have ‘depression’ on your chart in order to have anything done about it,” Vergel said, adding that community activists need to start advocating on behalf of physicians as well as patients.
“Many doctors are refusing (to see Medicare patients) because Medicare doesn’t want to pay enough,” he said.
Vergel suggested that persons with HIV/AIDS be extra vigilant in guarding against afflictions beguiling older Americans. Bone density scans, exercise and vitamin D, for example can help stave off osteoporosis.
HPV infections were another condition to be concerned with. Vergel said the condition was common—“We’re not talking top or bottom, men or women,” he said—and concerned individuals should not be afraid to ask their physician about having an anuscopy done to check for anal warts if they think they might need it.
Doctors are rarely proactive about that particular procedure, Vergel said, adding that it was not the same thing as a colonoscopy, which usually is probing for gastro-intestinal issues.
Infected individuals are often “more frail by about 15 years,” Virgil suggested, so he said good overall advice is to be sure to take plenty of exercise.
“Exercise is the best therapy for most health problems,” Vergel said.