The first person Timothy Ray Brown known to have been cured of HIV after having a unique bone marrow transplant passed away in California today after a cancer relapse.
His partner Tim Hoeffgen said in a post on Facebook.”It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away … this afternoon surrounded by myself and friends, after a 5 month battle with leukemia.”
Timothy Ray was born on March 11, 1996. He was known as the Berlin Patient after being treated for HIV in 2007. It gave hope to all the patients suffering from the deadly disease Aids.
Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society, said he would mourn Brown “with a profoundly heavy heart”. “We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Huetter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,”
Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 while living in the German capital, and in 2006 he was also diagnosed with a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. He was cured with Aids but died because of the cancer relapse.
According to doctors, the blood cancer had spread to his spine and brain, and he had recently been in hospice care in his home town of Palm Springs, California. his and other factors made the treatment Brown had expensive, complex, and highly risky. Most experts say it could never become a way to cure all HIV patients since many of them would risk death from the procedure itself.
More than 37 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV, and the AIDS pandemic has killed about 35 million people since it began in the 1980s.