AVRC Welcomes “The Berlin Patient”
November 7, 2012 (SAN DIEGO) – The UC San Diego AntiViral Research Center (AVRC) welcomes the first man cured of HIV infection to San Diego on Monday, November 12, when it hosts the HIV Cure Conference.
Timothy Ray Brown, founder of the Timothy Ray Brown Foundation at the World AIDS Institute, is the man who anonymously astonished researchers around the world as “The Berlin Patient.” He was the first man to be cured of HIV. This past July, it was announced that two more men cleared HIV from their bodies through a bone marrow transplant similar to Brown’s.
“Words cannot begin to express my joy that two other men may have been cured of HIV,” said Brown in a prepared statement following the July announcement. “We can only hope that [my] case and this development represent the beginning of the end of this plague.”
As part of the HIV Cure Conference, Brown shares his story from diagnoses to cure, providing attendees a first-hand account of what it was like for Brown to be a part of medical history.
“We are excited to have Timothy in San Diego,” said Jeff Taylor, member at large of the AVRC Community Advisory Board (CAB) and the person responsible for Brown’s attendance at the HIV Cure Conference. “The San Diego community can benefit from hearing his story and learning about ongoing HIV research, right here in San Diego, that’s getting us ever closer to a cure.”
Over the past year, a number of research advancements in the treatment, vaccination and cure for HIV have accompanied the news of this first-ever HIV cure.
At HIV Cure Conference, Brown joins HIV researchers from UC San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute for updates on HIV research. These world-renowned scholars will provide the community with updates on HIV treatment, cure and vaccine research.
Davey Smith, MD of the AVRC is the 2010 HIV Medical Association Researcher of the Year and the first to identify HIV superinfections in San Diego. He will discuss advancements in HIV treatment and prevention research, including the FDS’s recent approval of pre-exposure prohylaxis for HIV treatment. William Schief, PhD, an associate professor of immunology at The Scripps Research Institute, will give an update on the progress toward an HIV vaccine. The research presentations conclude with Doug Richman, MD, director of the Center for AIDS Research at UCSD. Richman is credited with discovering HIV resistance to antiviral medications and will update attendees on advancements in HIV cure research.
“We are very fortunate to live where we do,” said Andy Kaytes, a community member and CAB co-chair. “We have access to some of the best and brightest minds in HIV research and care, and it’s important that the community knows that and takes advantage of these resources.”
The HIV Cure Conference is made possible through the generous support of the following: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Research Institute, AntiViral Research Center, Genentech, Modern HEALTH Pharmacy, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, UC San Diego Health Sciences International, and ViiV Healthcare.
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