Timothy Ray Brown, known to most of the world as the “Berlin Patient,” spoke today in Philadelphia at the 13th Annual HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit. Hear his speech in its entirety.
He’s been an inspiration to millions of HIV patients searching desperately for hope. Timothy Ray Brown, known to most of the world as the “Berlin Patient,” spoke today at the Philadelphia Convention Center as part of Philadelphia FIGHT’s 13th Annual HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit.
Brown, who now lives in Seattle, is thought to be the first patient ever to be cured of an HIV infection.
Brown says he’s normally “a pretty private person” and hadn’t considered speaking publicly about his cure until he realized that his story could bring hope and optimism to the fight against AIDS and HIV.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a report in February 2009 describing a bone marrow transplant Brown received two years prior, to fight leukemia, which seemed to have cured his HIV infection. The donor has a genetic mutation that makes his cells immune to the virus. Following the treatment, the virus disappered from Brown’s system.
Reserchers are seeing early signs of success using gene therapy to replicate that cure. The recent discovery of trace bits of HIV genetic material in his body — but not whole, replicable instances of the virus — has raised some questions about how, or whether, the cure worked. Brown will speak to members of Congress and the Obama administration to advocate for further research.