Umbilical blood stem cell transplant puts woman in HIV remission

A transplant of stem cells from the umbilical cord has resulted in a mixed-race woman going into remission for HIV for the first time.

The woman, known as the New York patient, has been clear of detectable HIV since 2017, after she received HIV-resistant stem cells that had been harvested from umbilical cord blood to treat her leukaemia. Stem cells are produced by bone marrow and can turn into different types of blood cells.

Several people have previously gone into remission from HIV after receiving stem cells from adult donors who carry two copies of a naturally occurring mutation of the CCR5 gene. This delta 32 mutation prevents the virus from entering and infecting healthy cells.

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