In a major breakthrough, doctors have reportedly cured an HIV Positive patient in London. According to latest media reports, the unidentified man was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and started taking drugs to control the infection in 2012. Later, he developed cancer. But doctors convinced him for a stem cell transplant in 2016. This is the second time in the history of the AIDS epidemic that a patient has been cured of the virus. Before this, Timothy Ray Brown, a US man was treated in Germany. Known as the 'Berlin patient,' Brown is still free of HIV.
The case report was published in prestigious journal ‘Nature’. Publicly, the scientists are describing the case as a long-term remission, a New York times report said. The case will be presented at an HIV conference in Seattle, a Daily Mail report said.
“This will inspire people that cure is not a dream,” said Dr Annemarie Wensing, a virologist at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands was quoted as saying by NYT. “It’s reachable,” she added. According to Daily Mail, Dr Gero Hutter, the German doctor who treated the ‘Berlin patient’, called the new case 'great news' and 'one piece in the HIV cure puzzle.'
According to the daily, the unidentified London patient had developed Hodgkin lymphoma. The doctors were actually looking for the cure of the cancer, when they realised that “with the right kind of donor, his doctors figured, the London patient might get a bonus beyond treating his cancer: a possible HIV cure” the Daily Mail report said.
Meanwhile, the ‘Berlin pateint’ Brown has said that he would like to meet the London patient and would encourage him to go public.
Meanwhile, in India, due to the ability of the Indian pharma companies to produce drugs at economical rates, the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment has gone down to $400 per year from USD 12,000. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had also hailed the country's "spectacular" contribution to global healthcare. Noting that India has since ancient times a very systematic, scientific and rational approach to treatment of diseases, he said the country it has now become the third largest drug manufacturer in the world.
The Centre has taken up a number of initiatives to create an ecosystem that fosters manufacturing and have identified a few key areas with pharmaceuticals being one of those due to the immense scope for technology, innovation and research in it, he had said.
India already has the second highest number of US FDA approved facilities, and labour costs in India are significantly lower than other manufacturing hubs and the Union Budget 2017-18 shows an increase of 23 per cent in the health expenditure that is likely to give further impetus to the pharma sector.