Timothy Ray Brown, the American who became the first man to be cured of HIV in 2008, suffers from terminal cancer, his partner announced.
“Timothy does not die of HIV, let there be no question,” Tim Hoeffgen told activist and author Mark S. King, who posted a blog post Tuesday that the couple wanted him to announce the news.
“HIV has not been detected in his blood since he was cured. He went. Now it’s leukemia. My God, I hate cancer, ”Hoeffgen added.
King indicated to the . that he had spoken with Brown and Hoeffgen last Saturday and that the former is receiving palliative care at his home in Palm Springs, California.
“I will keep fighting until I can no longer fight,” the sick man told Mark S. King by phone.
Timothy Ray Brown wrote a page on the medical history of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
In 1995 he was living in Berlin when he found out that he had contracted the virus. In 2006 he was diagnosed with leukemia.
To treat leukemia, his doctor at the University of Berlin resorted to a stem cell transplant from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that gave him natural resistance to HIV. The goal was to kill the virus and the disease at the same time.
It took two transplants, dangerous interventions, but the result was a success. In 2008, Brown was declared cured of both. The initial announcement referred to him as “the Berlin patient.”
In 2010 she agreed to reveal her identity and has since become a public personality. “I am living proof that there can be a cure for AIDS,” he told the . in 2012.
Since his case, only another remission of an HIV-infected person was announced, in March 2019. That patient, Adam Castillejo, was subjected to the same treatment as Brown and is now considered to be completely cured.
The stem cell transplantation method is not considered a feasible form of treatment due to the risks involved: in order to carry it out, the recipient’s immune system must be suppressed with chemotherapy to “replace” it with that of the donor.
Antiretroviral treatments today allow those infected with HIV to live normally.