First Man ‘Cured of HIV’ Delivers Devastating News

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Timothy Ray Brown was called 'The Berlin Patient' by doctors. image: Twitter

Timothy Ray Brown, the first man to be ‘cured of HIV’ has revealed he now has terminal cancer.

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The ‘Berlin Patient’, Mr Timothy Ray Brown.

Mr Brown, dubbed the ‘Berlin patient” because of where he lived at the time, was the first person believed to have been cured of HIV. He has said he is now terminally ill from a recurrence of the cancer that prompted his historic treatment 12 years ago.

Brown had a transplant from a donor with a rare, natural resistance to the AIDS virus and for years doctors thought that is what cured his leukaemia and his HIV infection. He still to this day shows no signs of HIV.


Timothy Ray Brown with his dog, Jack, in 2011

Mr Brown said his cancer returned last year and has spread widely, he is now receiving hospice care where he now lives in Palm Springs, California. In reference to his transplant, Mr Brown, 54, said, quote: “I’m still glad that I had it. It opened up doors that weren’t there before” and inspired scientists to work harder to find a cure, which many had begun to think was not possible.”

Hope and Inspiration


Dr Steven Deeks, an AIDS specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who has worked with Brown to further research towards a cure, said: “Timothy proved that HIV can be cured but that’s not what inspires me about him.

“We took pieces of his gut, we took pieces of his lymph nodes … every time he was asked to do something, he showed up with amazing grace.” Mr Brown was an American working as a translator in Berlin in the 1990s when he learned he had HIV, years later, in 2006, he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

His partner Tim Hoeffgen said: “He’s been like an ambassador of hope.” A second man, Adam Castillejo, called “the London patient” until he revealed his identity earlier this year, is also believed to have been cured by a transplant similar to Mr Brown’s in 2016.

Spain’s HIV vaccine trials

Last year, Spanish scientists announced clinical trials in their search for an HIV vaccine.

Update- A 37-year-old man from Barcelona, who had been infected with the HIV virus in 2009, was cured of the condition after receiving a transplant of blood in 2019.

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