2 stem cell patients stop HIV drugs, no virus seen

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Researchers say two HIV-positive patients in the United States who underwent bone marrow transplants for cancer now show no detectable sign of HIV. And they’ve stopped anti-retroviral therapy.

The researchers at Harvard University say it’s too early to say whether the men have been cured, but they say it’s an encouraging sign that the virus hasn’t rebounded in the blood months after drug treatment ended.

Last year the researchers announced that there were no traces of HIV in the men eight months after they received bone marrow transplants to replace cancerous blood cells with healthy donor cells. But at that time, the patients were still on anti-HIV drugs.

The researchers provided the update today at an international AIDS conference in Malaysia.

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