One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind


Interestingly enough, Timothy Ray Brown’s case of HIV is significant to a particular community because he has actually been cured of HIV. In 2007, a man by the name of Timothy Brown was cleared free of HIV after receiving a necessary bone marrow transplant that dealt with his leukemia (not related to his HIV). It happened to be that his bone marrow donor had 2 genetic mutations that are immune to HIV and only 1% of Caucasians have this. Another man by the name of Gregg Cassin is a patient who is currently undergoing a procedure as a human guinea pig. He believes that he got HIV back in the ‘80s but he found out that the reason he has lived to be quite healthy so far is because he has one of the two genetic mutations, CCR5. CCR5 is a protein on the surface of the white blood cells that is involved in the immune system and it acts as a receptor for chemokine. HIV usually uses CCR5 to enter and infect host cells, but the mutation allows people to be protected from HIV strains. Due to such studies, researchers took out some of Cassin’s immune cells and treated them with a chemical known as zinc finger protease, which knocks out both CCR5 genes. Later those cells were injected back into Cassin and the amount of HIV in his blood dropped even without antiviral drugs in his body. Research studies such as these can improve life and promote better quality for those who are infected with HIV. It really proves that medicine has been making a number of advancements and that there can possibly be a cure that is not harmful and more beneficial to patients. Hopefully, this study can be proven true with more studies on local people, which can later spread globally, prevent the transition of HIV to AIDS, and even pave the way for other illnesses.

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