The Second-Ever Case of Full HIV Remission | SciShow News

The Second-Ever Case of Full HIV Remission | SciShow News

[INTRO ♪] A little over a decade ago, doctors did something
remarkable: they cured someone of HIV. Ever since that person—known as the Berlin patient—received a set of bone marrow transplants in 2007 and 2008, his HIV hasn’t come back. Now, a new group of researchers seem to have done it again. In a study published this week in the journal Nature, European researchers report ‘the London patient’—the second-ever case of full HIV remission. And this time around, the protocol was a little gentler on the patient—so it may help us develop better strategies for HIV treatment or maybe, someday, a safe and effective cure. HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes HIV infection and AIDS by attacking cells of the immune system. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, nearly 37 million people around the globe were living with HIV in 2017, and in that same year, around 940,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses. These days, HIV is treatable with what’s
called antiretroviral therapy. The meds suppress the virus, but patients need to keep on them constantly to keep the virus in check, and that is inconvenient and costly. So, finding a way to send HIV into permanent remission—that is, to become so rare that it is no longer detectable in the bloodstream—is a high priority for medical scientists. The treatment in this new study isn’t a
miracle drug; it’s a bone marrow transplant. Specifically, a transplant from a person who is resistant to HIV. You see, in order to infect a cell, a virus floating around in the bloodstream needs to attach to the cell’s exterior. And in HIV’s case, it does that by anchoring to the CD4 receptor—a protein on the outside of certain white blood cells which is normally used to receive molecular messages from other cells. The virus basically pretends to be one of those messages, but to fully latch on, it also has to bind one of CD4’s co-receptors—proteins that help the receptor do its job—and in most cases, it attaches to one called CCR5. But some people have a mutation which means they don’t properly produce this co-receptor, and that makes them resistant to HIV. In this study, the researchers transplanted bone marrow stem cells from a resistant donor into a patient infected with HIV. Since bone marrow is what makes blood cells, the hope was that the patient would start producing blood cells without CCR5, making them resistant to the virus. And that is exactly what happened. When the researchers examined the patient’s white blood cells after the treatment, they found that their DNA contained the HIV-resistant mutation and they were no longer producing the CCR5 protein. But most importantly, the cells weren’t
being infected by HIV. This is essentially the same thing that researchers did
a little over a decade ago with the Berlin patient,
the first known person to experience the permanent remission of HIV. Except this time, the procedure was a little less harsh. In both cases, the patient was’t actually
just being treated for HIV, they were also being treated for cancer—acute myeloid leukemia in the Berlin case, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the London case. Both are cancers of blood cells, so to treat them, doctors generally kill off the cancerous cells and then perform a bone-marrow transplant to jump-start the patient’s immune system so they can recover. In the Berlin case, the patient received full
body irradiation for the cancer, and then two separate transplants before achieving remission. But in this new case, the patient received a less intensive and less risky reduced-intensity chemotherapy and only one transplant—and the procedure still succeeded. It is not a definite cure for everyone, though. In fact, similar transplants have been tried in other patients over the past decade, and they have not worked. For example, a transplant was able to knock out CCR5 from one patient in a 2014 study, but that person also happened to be infected with the second variant of HIV which doesn’t use CCR5 to get into cells—instead, it attaches to the other co-receptor of CD4, CXCR4. So the virus started to go into remission, but within three weeks of the transplant, the other variant of the virus was on the rise. It might be possible to get rid of a person’s CXCR4 receptors in a similar way, since there are people with genetic mutations that break that protein, too, but so far, that has not been done. In this new study, the researchers tested the patient’s blood after the transplant and found the cells were still susceptible to HIV that targets CXCR4, but that variant was not detected in the patient’s bloodstream. It’s been over 18 months since the patient stopped taking antiretrovirals, and the virus hasn’t come back. They’re careful to caution that it’s too early to say for sure that the patient is cured, but the results are really encouraging, because science is all about repeatability. When you only have one example of a
successful treatment, it’s hard to know if you’ve
found something reliable, or if your so-called cure was just some kind of lucky fluke. But now we know the Berlin patient wasn’t an isolated case. But it’s still going to be some time before this knowledge could translate into affordable, effective cures for every person with HIV—and it might never. After all, we’re still talking about a major procedure, and this is not something that can easily be given to people who live far from serious medical care. Even the reduced-intensity protocol undergone in the London case is an intensive chemotherapy program designed to suppress the immune system. And there are serious risks to it. Afterwards, patients sometimes develop life-threatening complications or reject the transplanted marrow. Also, there is some evidence that people without CCR5 are more susceptible to other diseases, like West Nile virus or bacterial infections. So scientists need to figure out what the trade offs and the side effects are for any treatment which impairs or gets rid of CD4 co-receptors. And all of this is assuming that we have enough donors to perform transplants in the first place. The mutations which knock out CCR5 or CXCR4 are not common, and donors have to match a patient in other ways, too, or the transplant will fail. Still, confirming the effectiveness of bone
marrow transplants is a crucial first step. There might be other ways to target these
co-receptors that are cheaper and safer. And ultimately, the success of this case
gives doctors renewed hope that, one day,
HIV could become a thing of the past. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow News! And thank you especially to our Patreon President of Space, SR Foxley. You are so awesome, and we really appreciate your continued support! If you want to be awesome like SR and help us make videos like this one, you can head over to to learn more about becoming a patron and how it helps us out. And don’t forget to click on that subscribe
button so you don’t ever miss an episode. Who would miss an episode of SciShow? Ever? That never happens. [OUTRO ♪]

100 Replies to “The Second-Ever Case of Full HIV Remission | SciShow News”

  1. Can we not use radiation targeted at CCR5 or CXCR4 receptors to cause mutation in it so that we can have similar result?

  2. I am not a immunologist, but the CXCR4 and CCR5 coreceptors have a innate function (otherwise they would not be there). But knocking both of them out, what side effects are we producing? Can it result in immunocompromising the individual? Or something else that might be equally severe.

  3. Unless the patient is under the threat of blood cancer, the doctor would never perform bone marrow transplant surgery for other reason, even the surgery might save one's life from HIV. HIV/AIDS is cosidered to be extinct in this century, different drugs and therapies are already taking theie roles in treating HIV. Bone marrow transplantation should not be considered as a possible mean to treat HIV.

  4. I'm am h-lyphoma survivor, and would love to donate tissue or participate in any way I can to forward this research. These diseases are no joke and need all of our help to propagate cures for future sufferers. Where can i go to get involved?

  5. Why would they want to cure it and not get rich treating it for a lifetime? Doesn’t seem profitable to me

  6. Why haven't we cured HIV? From my understanding this is not like cancer where it's a dozen of different diseases with similar symptoms

  7. Eventually a virus as destructive as HIV will be destroyed by the species it infects mutating…Isn't it wonderful

    We could transfer this mutation with a process like casper which could result in a vaccine.

  8. It reminds me of the simpsons episode where mr burns had so many ilnesses that none of them were able to get through because they are stuck together in the door (doctors analogy)

  9. I do have one question though, so the white blood cells have those receptors…

    If you modify them to have no receptors, what function would they be losing

  10. WTH is up with today's fetish of adding script text? It's annoying as hell… Yes, I can hear, I don't need text to understand. They're only partially added so it can't possibly be due to aiding deaf people, and even if so YouTube have subtitles if needed…

  11. you can cure hiv by using hiv.
    its hard but definitely doable,

    change the genetic code of hiv so that instead of it attacking your immune system, it instead attacks the non-genetically modified hiv(it attacks the 'problematic' hiv) and by feeding on the 'problematic' hiv it reproduces.
    then insert that hiv into the person and wait.
    all 'problematic' hiv cells will be gone in your body in a month and since the genetically modified hiv can no longer feed on the 'problematic' hiv they will die out.

    i oversimplified it but the general idea is the same

  12. All the more reason to utilize gene editing…who cares about minor things, use this to make humans trolls amongst microbes.

  13. As soon as they said the meds for AIDS are expensive you know AIDS isn’t getting cured because it’ll be so much more profitable to keep them on suppressors instead of curing hem

  14. If the states of earth would one jear halved they miltary budget and spend it into diease research, we could save millions in just one decade.

  15. Once the government in the U.S finds out, they will eliminate the research. The pharmaceutical company’s will forever damn the U.S if they make this legal in the U.S

  16. Imagine being cured by marrow transplant to find out that you got the other kind of HIV too. Life is not easy for fa–s.

  17. Call me crazy but this disease should never be cured!
    Imagine what would happen if people could cute AIDS
    The world would go in a even more state of Sodom and Gomorrah!
    Trust Me!

  18. And what-if you get bone marrow, pass some CRISPR magic on the cells, then implant back in the patient? Sounds quite doable and would make the cure sort-of affordable, no?

  19. You would think that forcing a cure would cause the virus to develop more resistance therefore becoming more virulent and more easily spread by either airborne transmission or other forms of body contact. This is how uncontrolled epidemics start and without a way to stop the new, more deadly virus…….many millions more could die at a faster rate.

  20. Even if a cure gets found, some douchebag with too much money will buy the patent and throw the price some 800% up.

  21. living with HIV for the past two years,it has been hell to me and I have tried all possible means to get cure but all to no avail, luckily for me one day as i was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HIV/AIDS, and i saw comment of people talking about how Doctor BIYA cured them,so I contacted him base on the testimonies i have been seeing about him on the internet,Lo and behold friends,that was the end used omen(HIV) now i'm free no more matters that touches the heart.Dr words is just not enough to express what you have done for me,thanks to you…. You are indeed a light to those living with hiv virus and may you remain bless for your good work… Dr Biya have cure for any types of diseases, Herpes HIV DIABETES CANCER Asthma STROKE INFERTILITY HEPATITIS B HEART DISEASE and you will be  also cured too,or WhatsApp +2348082437525 The almighty God shall continue to bless you Dr Biya.
    please he can save you too !!! kindly contact him today through his email: [email protected] or whatsapp him on +234808 243 7525.

  22. ok well this is just outright inaccurate, HIV is the remission stage of AIDS, you can live a long life with HIV and never take any medications, that is unless it turns into AIDS then you have to get treatment and take immune boosters and antivirals. this information comes directly from the website " HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. So once you get HIV, you have it for life. " kinda sad that a show about science doesnt understand medical science or even bother to look it up. there is no cure for HIV, no one has ever been cured or so called remission, not that HIV can even go into remission since that is not how the virus works. if you have Tcells and you have HIV, then you will always be on the road to develop AIDS, anyone else also notice the complete lack of a source for this so called remission case? in all his not sources listed under sources non of them talk about remission, one talks about a vaccine to prevent getting it, but this is not what video is talking about, so where the heck is his source claiming remission of HIV? ccr5 is what they are making vaccine from, and cant be used to teat someone already infected as it is only to keep you from contracting the virus, not for getting rid of it after the fact. i urge everyone to read his sources and call this channel out for lying to us and getting peoples hopes up for a beginning for a cure for HIV, how shitty of a thing to do to people who are dying, giving false hope that runs as far as a google search to find out it never happened. BOOOOO! I will never watch you channel again

  23. I am sure I read there may be a third patient, but was some months further down the line, so it was to early to say anything, in an early report about the London Patient.

  24. Holy crud! SR Foxley is STILL president of space?! Dude you are amazing and thank you so much for supporting this incredible project for so many years!

  25. When they make a drug for HIV, it would be really cool if it was named after a certain rock singer

    mmgghhgh cough cough

    Maybe after his name, it could RHYEme with Breddie Zercury. Or at least Barrohk Gulsara.

  26. Why not produce a meds to kill or lesson the CCR5 cells? If we cant kill hiv, wi work on wat the hiv targets and survived on!

  27. Too Bad Scientists Couldn't Find a Cure for "Awful Ideas that Kill Company's" back in the '80's as Well! R.I.P. AYDS Candy 1937-1987! Gone but Never Forgotten!😥😟😭💕

  28. Hell just last month a woman went viral saying she purposely infected people the scientists need to put a rush on it it's only going to get worse

  29. There is a group of female prostitutes that were known to have had multiple unprotected sexual contacts with known HIV positive men and did not contract the main HIV – it was found that they actually had HIV 2 (the main contaminant HIV globally is HIV 1)
    Having HIV 2 has been found to be a protectant against HIV 1
    HIV 2 is only found in one certain area of Africa – I personally theorise that HIV 2 is the original virus, and that HIV 1 is a weaponized virus purposely released to depopulate

  30. I know I'm far behind but FINALLY THERE IS A CURE FOR HIV AND AIDS


    Edit : it's 2019 and my school teachers still say there is no cure or a way to remission HIV or cancer. Well with this video I think I just proved them wrong

  31. My Imuno doctor explained to me that within the next 10yrs.They hope to have a vaccine like we do for polio due too the fact that the meds taken to keep the virus undetectable wich keep the virus too the point where the virus is unable too be passed on to another person.Hence forth the initial epademike is coming too an end.If only those who had it and died from it could have lived long enough too see the light at the end of the tunnel.But their is a problem if it makes people overly confident they will forget all about the other STDS which could bring about apathey causing other STDS too surge in numbers.The young ones have already shown sings of apathy because they know little about the face of AIDS and adopted the ideology of whats so bad about getting HIV.Too them whats the worst oh so i have too take a pill once a day.That is the worst ideology anyone should ever take towards a disease of any kind.

  32. What about a treatment where the immune system is completely knocked out like the other two but instead of a bone marrow transplant the patient gets something like marrow inhibitors to stop producing T cells, and gets regular transplants of CRISPR'd T cells with neither CCR5 or CXCR4 receptors. Then after sterilization the patient stops receiving marrow inhibitors or T cells, and their body resumes normal function with the virus completely gone.

    I don't know how possible this would be, but am curious what you think of it. If it were that easy I'm sure smarter people would have tried that by now.
    It does leave the patient in a very vulnerable state though, so not good.
    I think human CRISPR is really the best tool for these kinds of problems, It's already done miracles for less critical issues (and maybe major ones I just don't know of)

  33. We have been curing it for years what about the 13+ people cured by a man called dr sebi using alternative medicine.

    He even won a suit in an American high court

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *