Doctors in Germany say a patient appears to have been cured of HIV by a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic resistance to the virus.
The researchers in Berlin said the man, who suffered from leukaemia and HIV, had shown no sign of either disease since the transplant two years ago.
But they stressed it was an unusual case which needed further investigation.
Experts said the result may boost interest in gene therapy for HIV.
Berlin’s Charite clinic said the 42-year-old patient was an American living in Berlin, but the man has not been identified.
He had been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, that causes Aids, for more than a decade and also had leukaemia.
The clinic said since the transplant was carried out 20 months ago, tests on the patient’s bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clear.
In a statement, Professor Rodolf Tauber from the Charite clinic said: “This is an interesting case for research.
“But to promise to millions of people infected with HIV that there is hope of a cure would not be right.”
Roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have an inherited genetic mutation, which prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells.
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