A woman in the United States has been cured of HIV/AIDs. She has become the first woman in the world to be cured and the third person in the world. She also becomes the first black to be cured of the virus after a stem cell transplant.
The woman who was suffering from acute leukemia received a stem cell transplant and has been free of the virus for more than a year now according to researchers. This was the first case ever involving umbilical cord blood to treat acute myeloid leukemia, which starts in blood-forming cells in the bone marrow.
“Since receiving the cord blood, the middle-aged woman of mixed race has been in remission and free of HIV for 14 months, without the need for potent treatments known as antiretroviral therapy,” said the researchers at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in the US city of Denver.
The cure of the woman, bringing the number of people cured in the world to three, brings hope in the finding of the cure for the HIV/AIDs that scientists from around the world have been working on for years. The first patients to be healed through a similar process were male; white and Latino.
“This is now the third report of a cure in this setting and the first in a woman living with HIV,” Sharon Lewin, president-elect of the International AIDS Society.
The news comes barely a day after giant vaccine maker, Moderna, announced the discovery and the trial rollout of the HIV/AIDs vaccine. According to Moderna, the HIV vaccine is based on mRNA, the same technology used in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
As the discoveries about the cure for HIV go on, African countries say they are afraid that the vaccine will be kept off the continent the same way they wanted to try during the Covid-19 vaccine distribution.