Berlin Patient speaks out

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02 Mar 2015

The only person in the world to have been cured of HIV has spoken out about his experience for the first time. Timothy Ray Brown — aka the ‘Berlin Patient’ — was cured of HIV after living with the virus for 12 years.

During that period, Brown (pictured) was diagnosed with leukaemia. His doctors decided to conduct a stem-cell transplant and — in a bold experiment — used a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV infection. Brown said, initially, he didn’t want to be a "guinea pig" and refused the procedure.

However, "I received the transplant on 6 February, 2007 — my new 'birth date'. I stopped taking my HIV medication on the day of the transplant. After three months, HIV was no longer found in my blood,” said Brown. The virus has never returned.

Brown admitted he was not ready for the publicity his case would bring, but decided to waive his anonymity in 2010. "I did not want to be the only person in the world cured of HIV; I wanted other HIV-positive patients to join my club,” he said. Brown has since dedicated his life to supporting research to find a cure for HIV.