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  • London Man Is Second Adult In The World To Be Considered Cleared Of HIV

    The “London patient” case gives doctors hope that they might soon find a cure for AIDS.

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    By Sanjana Karanth

    A scanning electron micrograph of multiple round bumps of the HIV-1 virus on a cell surface. 
    A scanning electron micrograph of multiple round bumps of the HIV-1 virus on a cell surface. 

    Doctors said a London man with HIV has become the second known adult in the world to be apparently cleared of the infection since the global epidemic began decades ago, giving hope for a potential cure for AIDS.

    Doctors said that recent tests showed no trace of the man’s previous HIV infection. The milestone came about three years after the man received bone marrow stem cells from an HIV-resistant donor and about a year and a half after coming off antiretroviral drugs. The patient was receiving the bone marrow transplant for cancer.

    The case offers hope that researchers will soon find a cure for AIDS. But doctors cautioned against calling the patient’s results a cure for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    Ravindra Gupta, an HIV biologist who helped treat the man, told Reuters that his patient is “in remission” but warned that it’s “too early to say he’s cured.”

    The man has chosen to remain anonymous, with scientists referring to him as “the London patient.” The title is similar to the first known case of a cured HIV-positive patient. Timothy Brown, an American man, was known as “the Berlin patient” when he also received a bone marrow transplant for leukemia treatment in Germany 12 years ago. That transplant also appeared to clear his HIV infection.

    After Brown’s case, scientists tried for 12 years to copy the result with other HIV-positive cancer patients. The London patient, who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is the first adult to be cleared of HIV since Brown.

    The decades-long HIV epidemic still persists in the United States and worldwide, with nearly 39,000 new diagnoses in the country in 2017. About 37 million people worldwide currently have HIV, and the AIDS virus has killed about 35 million since taking off in the 1980s.

    Scientists who have studied the London patient are expected to publish a report Tuesday in the journal Nature. They also plan to present details in Seattle at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, which began Monday.

    Bone marrow transplants as an HIV cure is a treatment with harsh side effects, but The New York Times reported that scientists think giving patients similar HIV-resistant immune cells might do the trick.

    “This will inspire people that cure is not a dream,” Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a virologist at University Medical Center Utrecht, told the Times. “It’s reachable.”

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    Sanjana KaranthReporter, HuffPostSuggest a correction


  • World’s first baby born via womb transplant from dead donor

    By Kate Kelland,ReutersDecember 5, 2018

    1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

    This Dec. 15, 2017 photo provided by transplant surgeon Dr. Wellington Andraus shows the baby girl born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor at the Hospital das Clinicas of the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the day of her birth. Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy. (Courtesy Dr. Wellington Andraus via AP)More

    By Kate Kelland

    LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – A woman in Brazil who received a womb transplanted from a deceased donor has given birth to a baby girl in the first successful case of its kind, doctors reported.

    The case, published in The Lancet medical journal, involved connecting veins from the donor uterus with the recipient’s veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals.

    It comes after 10 previously known cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors – in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey – failed to produce a live birth.

    The girl born in the Brazilian case was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2,550 grams (nearly 6 lbs), the case study said.

    Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo University hospital who led the research, said the transplant – carried out in September 2016 when the recipient was 32 – shows the technique is feasible and could offer women with uterine infertility access to a larger pool of potential donors.

    The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.

    “The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population,” Ejzenberg said in a statement about the results.

    She added, however, that the outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared, and said the technique could still be refined and optimized.

    The first baby born after a live donor womb transplant was in Sweden in 2013. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.

    Experts estimate that infertility affects around 10 to 15 percent of couples of reproductive age worldwide. Of this group, around one in 500 women have uterine problems.

    Before uterus transplants became possible, the only options to have a child were adoption or surrogacy.

    In the Brazilian case, the recipient had been born without a uterus due to a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. The donor was 45 and died of a stroke.

    Five months after the transplant, Ejzenberg’s team wrote, the uterus showed no signs of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the recipient was having regular menstruation. The woman’s previously fertilized and frozen eggs were implanted after seven months and 10 days later she was confirmed pregnant.

    At seven months and 20 days – when the case study report was submitted to The Lancet – the baby girl was continuing to breastfeed and weighed 7.2 kg (16 lb).

    (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)11 reactions11%