Biopsies from his gut and lymph nodes have shown no infectious HIV following a bone marrow transplant, and three-and-a-half months off antiviral drugs, Annemarie Wensing of the Netherlands-based University Medical Center Utrecht, who worked on the case, told the outlet. In the Berlin and London cases, the donor carried a rare gene mutation that makes them more resistant to HIV - a virus that infects immune system cells made in the bone marrow.
It came hours after researchers reported a "London patient" was the second ever man to see the disease "cured" by a bone marrow transplant - which effectively replaces and reboots the cells of the immune system where HIV persists.
Monthly shots of HIV drugs worked as well as daily pills to control the virus that causes AIDS in two large global tests, researchers reported Thursday.
Both the London patient and the Düsseldorf patients' cases were announced publicly at this week's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, hence the quick succession.
Both cases followed the precedent set by the "Berlin patient", who is the first ever person cured of HIV back in 2007.
Brown, who is now 52, appears to be free of HIV. Doctors used transplanted material from a donor known to have a genetic resistance to HIV. It is typically reserved only for patients who have late-stage cancer and for whom standard cancer treatments have otherwise failed.
It was subsequently found that the person who donated the patient's stem cells had a natural resistance to HIV.
A big hurdle in such research is the difficulty of finding donors with the CCR5 delta 32 genetic mutation, given that the percentage of people with the mutation is very low among the total population, he said. These cases are still significant as they can help experts develop new ways to fight the virus and find a cure, especially since a new drug resistant form of HIV is a growing concern.
After undergoing chemotherapy, he underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016 and also continued with anti-retroviral drugs for 16 months. "Although this breakthrough is complicated and much more work is needed, it gives us great hope for the future that we could potentially end AIDS with science, through a vaccine or a cure". The man had contracted HIV in 2003, Gupta said, and in 2012 was also diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Pills taken daily can keep HIV levels so low the virus is not transmittable to sex partners, but not everyone takes them as prescribed.
The man received bone marrow from a donor with a rare mutation, like "Berlin" and "London" to patients.
It is noted that bone marrow transplantation cannot be applied for HIV-positive patients who do not have cancer.
He did not experience HIV rebound, during the 18 months he did not take anti-viral medication.
These events mark an important milestone in securing domestic sustainable financing for the HIV response in Vietnam and ensuring that people living with HIV access treatment services.
Yet even with this life-extending treatment, a functional HIV cure, defined as when someone with HIV no longer tests positive for the virus and does not need to take these medications, has remained elusive.