Woman's Own Immune System Has Possibly Cured Her of HIV

Researchers were unable to find any viable HIV in the woman’s body even after using highly sophisticated and sensitive tests to scan over 1 billion of her cells

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A woman in Argentina has become only the second documented person whose own immune system may have cured her of HIV.

Researchers have dubbed the 30-year-old mother, who was first diagnosed with HIV in 2013, the “Esperanza patient,” after the town in Argentina where she lives. In English, “esperanza” means “hope.”

“I enjoy being healthy,” the Esperanza patient, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the stigma associated with the virus, told NBC News in Spanish over email. “I have a healthy family. I don’t have to medicate, and I live as though nothing has happened. This already is a privilege.”

The co-authors of the study, which was published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, said they believe their findings will indeed bring hope to the estimated 38 million people globally living with the virus and to the ever-expanding HIV-cure research field. The case serves as one of two proofs of concept that a so-called sterilizing cure of the virus is apparently possible through natural immunity.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com here. 

The actor Billy Porter said he was HIV positive in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, going public with his status for the first time in 14 years. It was a brave decision and validates people struggling with HIV, which disproportionately affects Black gay and bisexual men. We heard more from Raniyah Copeland, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and Jo Yurcaba, an associate editor for NBC OUT.
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