After nearly 30 years, researchers have come one step closer to finding a cure for H.I.V. It was announced at an international AIDS conference that two H.I.V.-infected patients in Boston underwent a high risk bone-marrow transplant for blood cancers and are currently virus-free. Each patient was given new bone marrow, which contained a rare mutation, known as delta 32. Delta 32 creates CD4 cells, which lacks a surface receptor, called the “door”. This receptor is where the virus would normally enter an individual’s blood cells, but the mutated delta 32 gene prevents this action from occurring. Questions still remain, including when to say an H.I.V. patient has been cured. Although this is exciting and encouraging news within the medical community, only time will tell if this could be the answer to what so many have waited decades for.
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