A risky yet promising treatment

Researchers have found a stem cell treatment that may lead to new AIDS therapies

Two years after receiving a transplant of stem cells from a person who has a genetic mutation, CCR5 delta32, that confers immunity to HIV/AIDS, an American living in Germany has been declared free of HIV. The historic case is the subject of a newly published official report in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, physicians warn that the treatment is an extreme and risky measure: a third of patients would die during the transplant. But it could lead to an evolution of new gene therapies that prevent HIV from latching onto receptors that lead to illness.