Stories Around the Globe

The ‘Berlin Patient’ Dies of Cancer

Timothy Ray Brown. Credit: Getty Images

Timothy Ray Brown, a 54-year-old man, who made medical history as ‘the Berlin patient’; the first person is known to be cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)has died recently, at his home in Palm Spring, California, United States. He was reported to have died of cancer,

Brown was a guiding light for millions of people living with the virus, He was given a bone marrow and stem cell transplant from a donor who was resistant to HIV and this set him permanently free from HIV. Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 when he was working as a translator in Berlin, he was also diagnosed with leukemia and cancer in the same year.

However, it was in 2007/2008 where he became the first person to be cured of HIV. The doctors at the Free University of Berlin came upon a miracle when they attempted to treat his leukemia through a stem cell transplant with a donor with a rare genetic mutation that gave rise to his natural resistance to HIV. The approach worked for both leukemia and HIV at the time.

He was said to have lived with recurring leukemia for several months and received treatment at his home in Palm Springs, California before he passed on.

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