Monday, November 14, 2005

 

HIV man "cures" himself

Sophie Kirkman of The Sunday Times

A man who tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes Aids, has subsequently shown up negative for the disease in a case that has mystified doctors.
It was claimed last night that Andrew Stimpson, 25, may have shaken off the virus with his own immune system after contracting HIV in 2002.

If proved, the NHS has said the case would be “medically remarkable”. It could provide vital information to researchers looking into treatments for HIV and Aids, which has killed about 3,800 people in Britain since the 1980s.

The worldwide annual death toll is more than 3m.

The Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS trust, which treated Stimpson, has said he needs to undergo more tests before it can be established how he apparently conquered HIV.

“These tests were accurate and they were his, but what we don’t know at the moment is why that has happened, and we want him to come back in for more tests,” said a spokeswoman. “It is potentially a fantastic thing.”

Stimpson was tested three times in August 2002 at the Victoria clinic for sexual health in central London and the results showed he was producing HIV antibodies to fight the disease.

Stimpson, originally from Largs in Ayrshire, contracted the virus from his boyfriend, Juan Gomez, 44. He began taking vitamins and other dietary supplements to keep his body healthy in the hopes that this might fend off the development of full-blown Aids.

In October 2003, after impressing doctors with his good health, Stimpson was offered a new test, which came back negative. Further tests in December 2003 and March last year also proved negative.

“It was the last thing I expected. I was astonished. I was baffled too,” he told the News of the World. “I couldn’t understand how anyone could cure themselves of HIV . . . I thought it had to be wrong because no one can recover from HIV, it just doesn’t happen.”

The tests were re-checked by the Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust when Stimpson threatened litigation believing there must be a mistake, but the results confirmed all the tests had been accurate.

In a letter understood to be from the NHS Litigation Authority in October this year, Stimpson was told: “The fact you have recovered from a positive antibody result to a negative result is exceptional and medically remarkable.”

The trust said there had been several other cases of claimed “spontaneous clearance” of the virus worldwide, although it is not believed any have been proved. A spokeswoman added that the trust had urged Stimpson to return for tests, but that so far he had not done so

This story,if true interests me greatly since it would be a major break through in studying the disease.My fear though is it will most likely make people less careful about preventative methods

Comments:
I've heard about a few other cases like this myself. Good for him, but I'd still recommend he continue to have safe sex. That is just me of course.
 
Didn't see the article. Kinda share your concerns as well.
 
I've read about a similar case of a African woman who lived in Barbados. Don't know how true, but she said that after she contracted the disease from her husband, she turned her life to the Lord and as cured.
 
Yes, there have been similarly medically remarkable people in the past; however since we haven't heard anything of them since I'd hazard a guess that the virus resurfaced. For all our sakes I hope this Scot's recovery is the real deal.
 
There's been several cases like this around the world. It's true that they're tests show up negative, but they still carry the virus. The antobody levels are so low that they can't be detected by tests.
 
thats great if its true
 
That would be great it it is in fact true! At least there would be some hope for a treatment in the future.
 
Chubby Chocolate is right AFAI Know, all current HIV tests are based on detecting the HIV antibodies, levels of these will vary through the course of infection, dependant on the 'strenght' of the host's immune system.

Although one might consider the vast number of people who may have contracted, and eliminated the virus, without ever being aware of it... Remember, all statistics are based on 'known' cases. It is conceivable that a healthy human immune system might overcome even the most formidable virus.
 
Ha Ha... 'strenght'... Wrong spelling, but phonetically correct for my region...
 
Well after several tests it seems like the man is really -ve. Maybe the original +ve test was wrong. If he has the same partner he is likely to get it back, though.
 
If his body cured itself of HIV, I hope doctors can figure out how it was done as he has no idea. I am wondering if maybe his HIV testing results simply got mixed up at the lab? It's happened before...

I hope he will agree to further tests to figure out how this happened, my son's future (and millions of others, possibly a billion over the next 100 years) may just depend on a cure for HIV/AIDS as his mother and I have AIDS :(

This could also be a hoax to somehow disprove that HIV/AIDS exists or is a health threat (there are many AIDS dissidents out there).
 
The closest thing I've seen to this are the sex workers in Kenya. Apparently, they are constantly exposed to low doses of HIV, but don't get infected. Scientists are studying them.
 
Interesting...I have heard of such cases before.
 
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