The first HIV patient to be cured of his disease, Timothy Ray Brown, died of cancer at the age of 54. That has his partner announced on Facebook.
The American Brown has worked as a translator in Berlin since the 1990s. There he discovered that he had contracted HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS.
The path to a cure for HIV started with a diagnosis of leukemia in 2006. His doctor thought a bone marrow transplant could help treat the blood cancer, and also wanted to see if the transplant material could come from a donor who has a natural genetic defense against HIV. .
In 2007, Brown received his first transplant. He partially succeeded: he no longer had HIV, but he still had leukemia. A second attempt with material from the same donor in 2008 was successful. Brown then tested negative for HIV and no longer had cancer.
His cure was a big step for science in the treatment of HIV patients. But late last week it was announced that his blood cancer was back and that Brown was terminally ill.