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Andrew Stimpson

Nov 19, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob, Considering I've only really started thinking about the seriousness of the AIDS plague - ridiculous I know, but where I'm from it's neither an issue statistically nor in the media. I'm doing my best to spread awareness, even though it may be too late for me!

Have you heard of this case? I'm pretty sure you will have, but I found it fascinating. Do you think it was just a false positive?

Anyway, here's the link. Drawing hope and inspiration from you as always,

January(Now December actually!) Woo-hoo guy.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Winter WOO-HOO Guy,

Andrew Stimpson? Oh yeah, I know the case well. I'll repost one of my responses from the archives as well as some additional information below.

Now what's this nonsense about HIV/AIDS "not being an issue statistically or in the media" where you are from?!?!? Exactly where are you from, the planet "Zenon-don't-give-a-shit???" HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic with over 40,000,000 people currently infected. It is the greatest health crisis and challenge of our time!!! So what does make the news in your shamelessly sheltered community? Tomkat's wedding? The War on Christmas? Who's going to be the next American Idol?

Get busy and as Liza (with a "Z") and Frank have both tunefully exclaimed, "start spreading the news . . . !"

Dr. Bob

andrew stimpson what happened to him Aug 19, 2006

Dear Doc, do you have any news of what has happened to Mr Stimpson. Did anyone come up with an explanation? he seems to have gone back into obscurity.

what do you think happened or is it a case of something that cannot be explained.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Yes indeed Mr. Stimpson has lapsed back into obscurity. For our readers who may not know about this strange case, Andrew, 25, was diagnosed HIV positive in 2002, but was then subsequently found to be HIV negative in October 2003 at Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NSH Trust in the UK. A lengthy investigation concluded the initial tests were valid to conclude he was HIV positive. Stimpson then unsuccessfully tried to seek compensation against the Chelsea and Westminster Trust. Now, a good nine months later, it's difficult to determine exactly what's happening. Apparently some more sophisticated tests are being run (at St. Mary's, I believe), but confidentiality laws prohibit anyone from discussing the results. So we are left primarily with speculation and most of that is leaning toward a false-positive initial test to explain this isolated case of "sero-reversion". Stay tuned; we'll keep you posted as (and if) this story unfolds. Personally I'm not hopeful that this young man holds the key to an AIDS cure, as some have speculated.

Dr. Bob

British Man's "Cure" Questionable Just as the hype surrounding the New York "superstrain" later proved unfounded, the recent excitement over a British man's reported HIV "cure" appears equally unjustified. This past November, Andrew Stimpson gave interviews to two U.K. newspapers, the News of the World and Mail on Sunday, suggesting he cured his HIV with vitamin supplements. Stimpson said that in 2003 and 2004 he received multiple negative HIV antibody tests and undetectable viral load tests, after previously receiving one indeterminate and two positive antibody tests, as well as a very low but detectable viral load test, in 2002. After receiving the positive results, Stimpson reported, he began having unprotected sex with his HIV positive partner. People truly infected with HIV may have viral loads below the limit of detection of a specific test (typically 50 copies/mL), but it would be unusual for an infected person to have both undetectable viral load and a negative antibody test. While "seroreversion" from HIV positive to HIV negative is rare, it has been observed in a few individuals treated early with antiretroviral therapy during acute infection (as reported in the March 5, 2005 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases [CID]) and in some children who acquired HIV through mother-to-child transmission (as reported in a letter in the December 15, 2005 issue of CID); Stimpson, however, says he never received anti-HIV treatment. Stimpson sued the Chelsea and Westminster Health Trust, alleging that its sexual health clinic must have mixed up his and another person's blood samples. The British National Health Service Litigation Authority confirmed that all tests were done using Stimpson's blood, but asked him to undergo further testing -- a request he declined. Even if the blood samples were not mixed up, false-positive results could have resulted from laboratory errors, problems with the tests, or unusual viral or host factors that have yet to be determined.

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