First patient cured of HIV dies of cancer

The first patient cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown (also known as “Berlin patient”), has died of cancer.

His partner, Tim Hoeffgen, said Brown died Tuesday after a five-month battle with leukemia.

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“On behalf of all its members and the Governing Council, the International Aids Society (IAS) sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the IAS and professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malaya, said in a news release.

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hütter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,” she continued.

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Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995. In 2006, he also developed leukemia while living in Germany. Hutter performed a blood stem cell transplant using a donor with a rare gene mutation that provides natural resistance to HIV. Hutter said that resistance transferred to Brown, who went on to see long-term remission from HIV.

Though traces of infection were found in Brown’s tissue several years later, Hutter said they were remnants of the disease that couldn’t replicate or cause a recurrence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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