For the 2nd time, a person is cured of HIV without treatment, scientists report

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A 30-year-old woman from Argentina diagnosed with HIV in 2013 may have "naturally" cleared the virus, according to a study published Nov. 16 in Annals of Internal Medicine

No signs of active infection or circulating virus were detected after numerous tests were conducted, scientists said, adding the woman never showed signs of active infection and had not received regular treatment for eight years. 

The woman's child tested negative for HIV after she gave birth in 2020, and an analysis of 500 million placenta-tissue cells did not detect active virus. 

"These observations raise the possibility that a sterilizing cure may be an extremely rare but possible outcome of HIV-1 infection," researchers said. 

It's believed to be the second case where a person's immune system was able to clear the virus without treatment or a bone marrow transplant. 

"A sterilizing cure for HIV has previously only been observed in two patients who received a highly toxic bone marrow transplant," said Xu Yu, MD, study author and member of the Ragon Institute — a collaboration between Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, both based in Cambridge, Mass. "Our study shows that such a cure can also be reached during natural infection — in the absence of bone marrow transplants (or any type of treatment at all)," Dr. Yu told CNN.

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