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Second Patient in History Apparently Cured of HIV
“I’ve been waiting for company for a long time.”
- Timothy Ray Brown, AKA "The Berlin Patient"
 
Almost twelve years ago to the day, Timothy Ray Brown, known for years as "The Berlin Patient", was cured of HIV. He is the only person in history to have that distinction. That is, until now.
 
For just the second time since the global AIDS epidemic began, a patient appears to have been cured of HIV. "The London Patient", who wishes to remain anonymous, stopped taking his antiretroviral medications in September 2017 and has remained virus-free.
 
Both his and Timothy Brown's cures were results of bone marrow transplants from donors with a mutation in a protein called CCR5. This protein, which is connected to certain immune cells, is exploited by the HIV-1 virus to infect the human body. A small number of people, mostly of Northern European origin, have a mutation in CCR5 which blocks HIV from infecting their immune cells.
 
One such person donated their bone marrow to Timothy Ray Brown twelve years ago, and another to "The London Patient." With their old immune cells essentially replaced by those of the marrow donors, both men's bodies are now able to resist the HIV-1 virus on their own, without the aid of antiretroviral drugs.
 
 
"The London Patient" demonstrates that this method of cure does not necessarily have to be life-threatening. Timothy Ray Brown, who had leukemia, was given harsh immunosuppressive medications and almost died after his bone marrow transplant. By contrast, "The London Patient," who had Hodgkin's lymphoma, was given less intense drugs and suffered few complications. However, it appears that, like Brown, all of his HIV-vulnerable immune cells were replaced by the donor's HIV-resistant cells.
 
Although both Timothy Ray Brown and "The London Patient" were being primarily treated for cancer, their unique method of cure may still be useful for cancer-free people living with HIV. For example, it may lead researchers to explore different types of gene therapies that directly target the CCR5 protein, or introduce a stem cell that is HIV-resistant and can duplicate naturally in a person's body.
 
 
All of these approaches have challenges and caveats. For example, a form of HIV called X4, which uses a different protein to enter cells, could still attack the body of a person with a mutated CCR5 protein. Nevertheless, "The London Patient" offers several promising new avenues for research. And more importantly than that, he keeps the dream alive that one day, perhaps in our lifetimes, a cure for HIV will be developed. The AIDS epidemic will always be a part of our past. But it doesn't have to be part of our future.
 
For more information about "The London Patient", check out The New York Times article here.
 
Never Forget
Create A Panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt
 
This spring, WNCAP is offering members of the community a chance to honor their loved ones by creating a panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt. We will provide materials and skilled sewers.
 
Using a needle, thread, paint, and your loved one's personal items, you can weave their legacy into the enduring tapestry of those affected by AIDS.
 
For more information, contact Randy at randy@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489. You can also send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
 
#DineOutEndHIV
Become A DOFL Ambassador
 
Want to have fun and give back to your community? Volunteer to be an Ambassador for Dining Out For Life!  Ambassadors fill their favorite restaurant with friends, family, and co-workers, and invite diners to enter the DOFL raffle.
 
Along the way, they raise money for WNCAP and educate our community about HIV Prevention & Care. How cool is that?
 
To see the list of available Restaurants "shifts," click here.
 
For more info contact Chris at wncapvolunteer@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489. You can also send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
 
Support
WNCAP Support Group Builds Community for PLHIV
 
WNCAP offers a free and confidential support group for community members living with HIV/AIDS. It meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6pm-8pm. Anyone living with HIV/AIDS is welcomed, regardless of age, gender, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
 
Current WNCAP clients, former WNCAP clients, and people with no affiliation at all with WNCAP are all welcome. We offer a safe space that is therapeutic and community oriented.
 
For more information, contact Giovanni at gdestefano@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489. You can also send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
 
 
Save The Date
National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 10
 
National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is an annual observance that sheds light on the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls. Every year on March 10, and throughout the month of March, national and community organizations come together to show support for women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS. This year marks the 13th observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Today, about one in four people living with HIV in the United States is female. Only about half of women living with HIV are getting care, and only four in 10 of them have the virus under control. Women face unique HIV risks and challenges that can prevent them from getting needed care and treatment. Addressing these issues remains critical to achieving an HIV- and AIDS-free generation.

#NWGHAAD
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
http://wncap.org
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