Two Men Cleared of HIV After Stem Cell Transplants

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Two men have been cleared of HIV after they received stem-cell transplants for lymphoma and discovered that the virus was no longer in their blood.

The two men had been taking AIDS drugs to stop it from progressing, but have been several months free of the medication once they learned that they may have been cured.

They were being treated in Boston and both had the same type of cancer.

After they received the stem cell transplants, doctors were unable to find evidence of HIV in their blood.

Though they believe it is too early to say with certainty that the disease is gone for good, one of the men has been off antiretroviral drugs for 15 weeks and the other for seven weeks.

This isn't the first time a person has been cleared of the virus. In 2007, a leukemia patient named Timothy Ray Brown became the first person ever to be cured of it after he received a bone marrow transplant. 

At the time, Brown's doctor believed the cure was related to his use of stem cells from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation, known as CCR5, which makes people resistant to HIV. 

"Dr. Henrich is charting new territory in HIV eradication research," Kevin Robert Frost, chief executive officer of the Foundation for AIDS research said. 

For the past 30 years, HIV has become less of a death sentence, able to be treated with antiretroviral drugs that can ward of AIDS for decades. 

Sources: NY Daily News, Bloomberg