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Cases of Two AIDS Patients Renew Hope of AIDS Cure for Many Scientists, New York Times Reports

November 29, 2011

The New York Times profiles two AIDS patients whose cases "suggest to many scientists that [curing AIDS] may be achievable," according to the newspaper. "One man, the so-called Berlin patient, apparently has cleared his HIV infection, albeit by arduous bone marrow transplants," and the other, "a 50-year-old man in Trenton, [N.J.,] underwent a far less difficult gene therapy procedure. While he was not cured, his body was able to briefly control the virus after he stopped taking the usual antiviral drugs, something that is highly unusual," the newspaper writes.

The newspaper highlights several research initiatives underway to find a cure for AIDS and provides commentary from a number of researchers on these cases and potential strategies for curing the disease. "There were attempts in the past to cure the disease, but most experts thought it more feasible to focus on prevention and treatment," the newspaper writes, adding, "The push for a cure might seem even less urgent now that antiviral drugs have turned HIV infection from a near-certain death sentence to a chronic disease for many people. But the drugs are not available to everyone, and they do not eliminate the infection" (Pollack, 11/28).

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