Thanks to a transplant of umbilical cord blood from an AIDS-resistant donor, a woman of mixed race appears to have become just the third person to be cured of HIV. As reported this week in the New York Times, the middle-aged woman with HIV received cord blood from an AIDS-resistant donor to treat myeloid leukemia. Fourteen months later, it was discovered that she was free of the virus and did not require antiretroviral therapy. Cord blood is more widely available than the adult stem cells used in bone marrow transplants linking to the recoveries of two previous male HIV patients, and it does not need to be as closely matched to recipients. Since most cord blood donors are of Caucasian origin, a partial match has the potential to cure more Americans of racially diverse backgrounds who have both HIV and cancer each year. The following UC San Diego Health experts are available to answer questions:
- Maile Young Karris, MD, HIV/AIDS specialist at UC San Diego Health and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases & Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine
- Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH, primary care physician at UC San Diego Health and clinical professor of family medicine and public health and infectious diseases at UC San Diego School of Medicine
- Jill Blumenthal, MD, infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases & Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine
Topics for Discussion:
- Why is this milestone important?
- How close are we to curing HIV for all people?
- How will this change the focus of HIV cure research?
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