The Berlin Patient : Timothy Ray Brown

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The Berlin Patient

Timothy Ray Brown, gained his title as “The Berlin Patient” after being the first man successfully cured of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) in 2008, Berlin. Brown has been battling with HIV for 11 years with antiretroviral drugs since 1995 when he was diagnosed. Then in 2006, he was being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, another disease that would put his life in danger. Acute myeloid leukemia is a type of cancer that attacks the bone marrow and spread to blood.[9] To treat his new deadly disease, Brown has tried radiation and chemotherapy which both did not seem to be successful in helping him. In 2007 and 2008 he made the decision of going for a bone marrow transplant. Brown’s oncologist has chose a bone marrow donor with a genetic mutation known as delta 32 which is found in 1 to 2 percent of the people in Northern Europe. For people with the delta 32 mutation, they are very likely to be immune to Smallpox, the Bubonic Plague and resistant to HIV and AIDS. [10] Focusing on how HIV is prevented by this mutation, HIV virus usually enters a cell through the cell’s CCR5 receptor and fuse into the cell that will eventually divide itself and spread throughout the patient’s body, infecting the patient with cells that is infected with HIV viruses. With the delta 32 mutation, the entry of HIV is blocked due to their misshapen CCR5 protein. Immunity to HIV is only present to homozygous carriers for the delta 32 mutation on both genes. [11]

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