HANDOUT - 29.11.2002, Hamburg: Elektronenmikroskopische Aufnahme mehrerer HIV (Humane Immunschwäche-Viren) Erreger der Immunschwäche-Krankheit Aids. In einem sehr seltenen Fall hat ein weiterer Patient durch eine spezielle Behandlung seine HIV-Infektion offenbar überwunden. (zu dpa "Weiterer Patient offenbar von HIV geheilt") Foto: Hans Gelderblom/Robert Koch Institut/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

In a very rare case, another patient apparently overcame his HIV infection with special treatment. The so-called “City of Hope patient” was infected in 1988. After a stem cell transplant for blood cancer in 2019, he was no longer found to be multiplying, even after stopping antiviral medication, according to the California Cancer Center City of Hope.

Blood cancer also went down. However, this form of HIV therapy is out of the question for the vast majority of those infected because it involves high risks.

“When I got my HIV diagnosis in 1988, like many others, I thought that this was my death sentence,” the patient is quoted as saying by his treating doctors. The 66-year-old benefited from the fact that the stem cell donor had a rare gene mutation. This change in the genome ensures that the HI virus can no longer penetrate immune cells and multiply.