A mixed-race woman becomes the third person ever cured of HIV

A woman has been cured of HIV using umbilical cord blood, becoming the third person to be cured and signifying a potential new frontier in the fight against the deadly virus. The mixed-race woman had already received treatment for leukemia, according to The New York Times. The treatment came from a partially matched donor, an uncommon practice because donors usually match the race and ethnicity of the patient. The practice also differs from the two other HIV cure cases, which were possible through bone marrow transplants from donors who carried a mutation that blocked HIV infections. The researchers said the gender and racial background of this case marks a big step forward in the development of a cure for HIV, as the infection is thought to progress differently in women than in men. “The fact that she’s mixed race and that she’s female, that’s really important scientifically and really important in terms of impacting the community,” said Dr Steven Deeks, an AIDS specialist at the ‘University of California, San Francisco, which was not involved in the work. However, he said scientists did not see the treatment becoming the norm. “These are stories of inspiration from the field and maybe the roadmap,” Dr. Deeks said.

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