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A New Hope: Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells Expand Access to HIV Cures

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Mixed-race woman with both HIV and acute leukemia received a stem cell transplant using umbilical cord blood stem cells with a CCR5-delta32 mutation, which confers resistance to HIV.

This modified approach may expand the pool of available stem cells for curing HIV in people needing transplants for other medical conditions.

The patient’s leukemia remains in remission five years after the transplant, and no HIV genetic material was detected.

The cord blood stem cell transplant may have cured her HIV, making her the first woman to achieve this. Using cord blood stem cells could expand access to this treatment, particularly for people of diverse ancestry who struggle to find compatible adult donors.

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