Thirty years ago from Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control issued the first report on the emerging AIDS epidemic. Now, after years of progress in holding back the disease, there is finally an apparent case of one successful cure.
CBS News correspondent Hank Plante, with San Francisco affiliate KCBS, reports that 45-year-old Timothy Ray Brown, now living in the Bay Area, tested positive for HIV back in 1995, but now has entered the scientific journals as the first man in world history to have his HIV completely eliminated from his body. It's what doctors call a "functional cure."
He was living in Berlin, Germany, in 2007, dealing with HIV and leukemia, when scientists there gave him a bone marrow, stem cell transplant that had astounding results.
"I quit taking my HIV medication on the day that I got the transplant and haven't had to take any since," Brown says, adding that his diseases are effectively gone.
In fact, his only medical problem these days is one involving his speech and motor skills because of neurological damage after the treatment, but that's getting better.
"The Berlin Patient," as Brown is known, received stem cells from a donor who was immune to HIV. In fact, about one percent of Caucasians are immune to HIV. Some say it goes back to the Great Plague; People who survived the plague developed an immunity, and that immunity was passed down to their heirs today.
Brown says being the first man to be cured of HIV makes him very, very happy.
Needless to say, Brown is now being monitored by doctors at San Francisco General Hospital and here at UCSF, where we sought out a medical opinion from one of the most respected AIDS researchers in the world, Dr. Jay Levy, who was one of the co-discoverers of the HIV virus.
"If you're able to take the white cells from someone and manipulate them so they're no longer infectable by HIV, and those white cells become the whole immune system of that individual, you've got essentially what we call a functional cure," Dr. Levy says.
We also sought out a medical opinion from Dr. Paul Volberding, another pioneering AIDS expert, who has studied the disease for all of its 30 years.
"One element of his treatment, and we don't know which, allowed apparently the virus to be purged from his body. So its going to be an interesting, I think, productive area to study," Dr. Volderding says. "He hasn't had any recurrence now for several years I think of the virus, and that hasn't happened before in our experience."
Timothy Brown's radical procedure may not be applicable to many other people with HIV, because of the difficulty in doing stem cell transplants, and finding the right donor. But this one case does open the door to the field of "cure research," which is now gaining more attention.
"I'm cured of HIV," Brown says. "I had HIV, but I don't anymore."
Those are words that so many in the scientific community are now cautiously clinging to.
National HIV Testing Day is June 27th. Tonight Sat. 6/14 @11pm EST The Live In the Vocal Booth Team discusses the HIV epidemic and how we all have the power to “Take the Test and Take Control”. There are over 1.1 million people living with HIV and static’s show that one in five don’t know they are infected. Taking the Test is the first step to stay healthy and lower the chance of passing it to others.
We will have Live in the Studio Lakisha Ford of the Neighborhood Health Services Corporation (NHSC), Lakisha has organized The 2014 Annual Plainfield National HIV Testing Day Health Fair taking place on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 10am – 3pm at NHSC in Plainfield 1700-58 Myrtle Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07063. There will be a huge turnout and they will be offering free health screenings (diabetes, blood pressure, vision, dental, etc), live entertainment, food, games, prizes and other attractions. Don’t miss our Live In the Vocal Booth Artist Spotlight Authentik.
Special Guest: Authentik
It is safe to say that the singer known as Authentik lives up his name sake in the realms of passion and talent for music. Born in NJ, Authentik has been blessing audiences with his miraculous vocals since he was 5 years old starting out in church. A young Authentik was eager to exercise his God given talent in front of any and everyone who would give the time a day to listen; and none were disappointed. As he grew, so did his passion for music and mastering his skills every step of the way.
Fueled by his love and fascination for R&B and Hip Hop, he challenged himself to learn the art behind singing, song structure, acapella, writing, basic piano skills, and harmonizing. He even pushed himself further to learn other genres such as Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, etc. In high school, he and a few close peers sung together in a group collectively known as "Harmoniously Speaking". He would further pursue his passion by going to major in Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. This is where he mastered his craft and learned all aspects of music performance, business, composing and teaching only to have his plans cut short by leaving to take care of his father who had fallen ill and would unfortunately pass away in 2003.
These personal tragedies with family and friends only help build him up even more as he would bounce back to work as a waiter only to move up the corporate ladder to become a Director in a retirement community for Culinary Services. He always believes that hard work, responsibility and dedication will get you far in life and be successful. Authentik has never given up on his dream and neither should you! You may ask... Why is his name Authentik? Well... people always referred his voice and character as being Authentik.
Authentik means one of a kind, not false or copied, genuine, real and priceless. His voice is definitely authentik and can’t be duplicated. He was born a star, went through obstacles in his life and is back to show the world exactly who he is and why he should be in the music industry. So sit back and listen to his story.