HIV returns in Boston men who showed hope of cure

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email

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BOSTON -- The HIV virus returned in two Boston patients who were free from infection, researchers reported.

The men were virus-free after undergoing bone marrow transplants, raising hope that a cure might be found for HIV.

Though the findings show the virus can hide in hard-to-find places in the human body, Dr.Timothy Henrich of Brigham and Women's Hospital told the Boston Globe the research team has obtained clues for "next-generation treatments."

Prior to the news, scientists believed an immune reaction called the graft-versus-host disease could have helped in eliminating HIV in the patients. In July, researchers announced the possibility of the cure in the two men, explaining they had been off anti-HIV drugs for seven and 15 weeks respectively.

For one patient, HIV reappeared in August, and the virus returned for the other in November.

Timothy Brown is the only person known to be cured of HIV. The 47-year-old American received a bone marrow transplant in Germany six years ago, from a donor who was genetically resistant to the virus.

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