Categories: HealthScienceWorld

Timothy Ray Brown, the world’s first HIV survivor, dies of cancer


Timothy Ray Brown, 54, the world’s first HIV survivor, died of cancer on the 30th of September at his home in California.

Timothy Ray Brown had been fighting with leukemia for the last five months. He was famously known as ”the Berlin patient” and had survived for 12 years after the treatment in 2008.

Fight with HIV and cancer

Timothy Ray Brown was born in the US and was working in Berlin as a translator. It was there that he was dragonized with acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer. Before that, he was already fighting HIV.

He underwent treatment in 2007 under a team led by Gero Huetter, where he received a bone marrow transplant. The donor had a rare mutation that made the person resistant to the virus. He underwent another transplant in 2008 and finally cured his HIV, but the cancer was not.

After his successful treatment in 2008, he became an inspiration for many people around the world. He even spoke at the Aids conference by the International Aids Society.

Cure for HIV

This treatment is hazardous and expensive to implement on mass levels. It is majorly used for cancer treatment, but for HIV, more research is undergoing. However, Timothy’s successful treatment has paved the way and given hope to many researchers worldwide.

It is noteworthy that another person has been cured by a similar method known as ‘the London patient.’ Adam Castillejo has stopped the medication for HIV, and the treatment has proven to be successful. However, he did not have radiotherapy and had only one stem cell transplant.

Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman, the IAS president, said, “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.”

It is ironic how cancer that proved to be a cure for his HIV finally took his life. After the treatment, Brown became vocal about his treatment and used to speak across various channels and platforms. He became a ray of hope for many fighting the disease. He even gave many blood samples and specimens to researchers to help develop a cure for the masses.

According to WHO, across the globe, there are 38 million people who are suffering from HIV/AIDS.

“Tim committed his life’s work to tell his story about his HIV cure and became an ambassador of hope,” Brown’s friend shared a post on Facebook.

Image courtesy of RAJ CREATIONZS/Shutterstock

Soumya Saxena

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Soumya Saxena

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