Researchers they announced that a 53-year-old man in Germany was cured of HIV. Referred to as "the Dusseldorf patient" to protect his privacy, the researchers said he is the fifth confirmed case of being cured of HIV.
Although details of his successful treatment were first announced at a conference in 2019, researchers could not officially confirm that he had been cured at the time.
Today, researchers announced that the Dusseldorf patient still has no detectable virus in his body, even after stopping his HIV medication four years ago.
"It's really a cure, and not just a long-term remission of the virus," said Dr. Bjorn-Erik Ole Jensen, who presented details of the case in a new publication in Nature Medicine.
"This obviously positive development creates hope, but there is much work to be done," Jensen said.
For most people, HIV is a lifelong infection and the virus is never completely eradicated. Thanks to modern medication, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives.
The Dusseldorf patient joins a small group of people who have been cured under extreme conditions after a stem cell transplant, which is usually only given to cancer patients who have no other options.
A stem cell transplant is a high-risk procedure that effectively restores a person's immune system. The primary goal was to cure someone's cancer, but the same process has also led to a cure for HIV in some cases.