165478667In August 2013 we reported on news that two HIV positive individuals who had been treated for blood cancers with bone marrow transplant appeared to be free of the HIV virus following the transplantation procedure.

Reports last summer told of how, two and four years after their bone marrow transplant, each man appeared to have been “cured” of HIV. Since their transplants, there was no detectable sign of the HIV virus in either man’s blood. Both men were taken off their antiretroviral drugs early in 2013 and the virus appeared to stay at bay.  However, the scientists involved in each man’s case have revealed that both men have relapsed and are now back on antiretroviral drugs to control their conditions.

It was in August, shortly after the news of this remarkable turn of events was released that the first man began to show signs that his HIV had relapsed. The second man relapsed in November 2013.

Whilst these relapses are a devastating blow to these individuals and their families and friends, there is a lot that can be learnt from their experiences and researchers are confident that these individuals will help to progress the understanding and future treatment of HIV. One of the patient’s doctors said that the relapse shows us how deep rooted and persistent the HIV virus is, as well as highlighting the fact that our current methods of detecting and identifying the virus may not be adequate.  The doctor went on to explain that the HIV virus can hide inside our DNA, making it untouchable.

The Future

Research into the best way of managing, and treating HIV continues and with every success, and failure, scientists take one step closer to finding the answer.

The many benefits of bone marrow transplantation continue to be discovered and, although at this point, bone marrow transplantation cannot be seen as a viable treatment option for HIV, it is often the only treatment available for blood and bone marrow deficiency conditions, such as aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, lymphoma, leukemia and myelofibrosis.  If you would like to know more about bone marrow transplant and the range of conditions that can be treated at the bone marrow transplant unit at Bone Marrow Mexico, contact us today for a free consultation.