A woman with HIV appears to have been cured of the disease following an umbilical cord blood-based treatment, the New York Times reports.
Previously, two men have been cured of HIV following bone marrow transplants from individuals with a genetic mutation that prevents HIV infection, the Times notes. It adds that mutation has only been identified in about 20,000 people, mostly of Northern European ancestry.
The New York patient, as NBC News notes the new patient is being called, was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and with leukemia in 2017. It adds that she underwent a haplo-cord transplant in which patients receive an umbilical cord blood transplant followed by an infusion of adult stem cells. The approach, NBC News adds, was developed for cancer patients without HLA-matched donors. The New York patient is of mixed-race ancestry and both her donors were partial HLA matches.
According to the Times, the New York patient left the hospital after 17 days and did not develop graft-versus-host disease, unlike the two men previously cured of HIV. Further, more 14 months later she showed no signs of HIV infection, it adds. This "opens up the possibility of curing more people of diverse racial backgrounds than was previously possible," the Times writes.