Medical miracle? Woman ‘naturally’ cured of HIV

“This is really the miracle of the human immune system that did it,” said one viral immunologist.

By World Israel News Staff

An Argentinian woman has been declared cured of HIV without getting a stem-cell transplant, becoming only the second in the world to have rid herself of HIV without medical treatment, according to an article that was published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In other words, her own immune system may have cured her of HIV.

“This is really the miracle of the human immune system that did it,” said Dr. Xu Yu, a viral immunologist at the Ragon Institute in Boston, in an interview with NBC.

The 30-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013. For the past four years, a team of researchers have been searching for traces of the virus in the patient’s DNA. In 2020, after she gave birth, the researchers also evaluated her placenta for the virus but found none.

“No genome-intact HIV-1 proviruses were detected in analysis of a total of 1.188 billion peripheral blood mononuclear cells and 503 million mononuclear cells from placental tissues,” wrote the research team in its report. “Seven defective proviruses, some of them derived from clonally expanded cells, were detected. A viral outgrowth assay failed to retrieve replication-competent HIV-1 from 150 million resting CD4+ T cells. No HIV-1 RNA was detected in 4.5 mL of plasma.”

The only other woman to whom this is known to have happened is Loreen Willenberg from San Francisco. The report on her naturally suppressing the virus came out last year.

Two others have been cured from the disease, but doctors know this was done through complex and dangerous stem cell transplants.