|Miracle HIV case in Scotland
Nov 18, 2005
Hi Dr Bob,
I was just wondering if you had heard about the miracle case of a young man from Glasgow, Scotland, UK, my hometown. This man who was homosexual was diagnosed with HIV over a year ago and recently was found to be cured of the disease! It was fron page news over here and something of a miracle. Doctors want to do tests on him to determine what caused this, but the chap seems quite reluctant which is a travesty for mankind, especially if the miracle has happened. I was wondering what your thoughts on this are?
| Response from Dr. Frascino
The details of this story are still unfolding. At this point, I'm more than a bit skeptical despite the rather sensational news coverage this story has gotten over the past few days.
The reasons I'm skeptical include the following: The publication initially breaking the story (The Independent) seems a bit sketchy on the difference between a "negative" (non-detectable) viral load test and cure (completely clearing the virus from one's body). It seems Mr. Stimpson tested positive on antibody tests and subsequently, without treatment, tested undetectable on a standard viral load assay. Even if these facts were completely accurate, they may not indicate he is "cured." He might still have virus in sanctuary sites, for instance. Hopefully Mr. Stimpson will have additional studies performed to further elucidate what has transpired. He'll need HIV viral cultures, proviral DNA PCR in non-activated CD4 cells and careful examination of immune sanctuary sties. A subsequent news story claims DNA checks have been run on both the initial positive test in August 2002 and the negative test in October 2003. I'm not what to make of that, or even what specific tests were run so far.
Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted as the story evolves. Try not to get too overexcited about initial news reports. Remember all the hullabaloo about the New York Super Strain Virus from a few months back that didn't turn out to be all that "super" after all?
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