The world’s first man to be cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has died after a battle with cancer.
Timothy Ray Brown – known as the “Berlin Patient,” made medical history when he was cured of HIV in 2007. He was first diagnosed with HIV while was studying in Berlin in 1995.
A decade later, Brown was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.
His doctors said the blood cancer had spread to his spine and brain and he had recently been in hospice care in his hometown of Palm Springs, California.
His partner, Tim Hoeffgen, announced Mr. Brown’s death on social media.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away … this afternoon surrounded by myself and friends, after a five-month battle with leukaemia,” Mr Hoeffgen wrote.
Adeeba Kamarulzaman, the president of the International AIDS Society also said in a statement: “On behalf of all its members… the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends.”
“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible.”
When Mr. Brown was diagnosed with HIV, Gero Huetter was the doctor caring for him and decided to try out a treatment.
According to ABC, the treatment involved the destruction of Mr. Brown’s immune system and the transplanting of stem cells with a gene mutation called CCR5 that resists HIV.
After he was cured, Brown was initially dubbed “the Berlin Patient” at a medical conference to preserve his anonymity, but two years later, he revealed his identity and went on to become a public figure.