Monday, November 14, 2005

Man cured of HIV?

Man 'cured' of HIV agrees to undergo further clinical tests
By Sam Lister, Timesonline.co.uk Health Correspondent

A YOUNG British man thought to be the first person to have shaken off HIV, the virus that causes Aids, is to undergo further clinical tests in the hope of a breakthrough in treating the condition.

Andrew Stimpson, 25, said yesterday that he was willing to do all he could to help to tackle the condition, after it emerged that his body had apparently rid itself of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Mr Stimpson, a Scot living in London, was found to be HIV-positive in August 2002, but 14 months later a blood test suggested that he no longer carried the virus. A further three tests confirmed the finding.

Doctors believe that this first confirmed case of “spontaneous clearance” of HIV could offer important insights into the behaviour of the virus, and possible means of defeating it.

To date there has been anecdotal evidence of such a clearance of HIV — in a handful of cases in sub-Saharan Africa — while two patients in the 1980s appeared to shake off the virus. However, in those instances it was impossible to prove that the positive and negative blood tests came from the same person.

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