HIV-leukemia patient receives rare transplant

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Doctors at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital are hopeful a promising bone marrow transplant will cure a boy diagnosed with HIV and leukemia.

If successful, doctors said the 12-year-old boy would be only the second person in the world to be cured of HIV. The boy had a bone marrow transplant Tuesday, but in this case, the procedure was done using umbilical cord blood.

Transplant specialist, Dr. Michael Verneris, said the blood is infused intravenously, circulates his body and finds the insides of his bones on its own. The stem cells start making blood which is immune to the HIV virus.

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It could be two or three months before doctors know if the transplant is successful.