The first such case of an HIV patient being cleared of the

 virus after a bone marrow transplant happened a decade ago to Timothy

Brown, known as the “Berlin patient”, who is still free of the virus.

“The breakthrough suggests the first case was not a one-off and could pave the way

for future treatments,” Nature said in a release on its website.

Gupta described his patient as “functionally cured” and “in remission”.

But he cautioned, “It’s too early to say he’s cured,” according to a Reuters report.

The procedure is expensive, complex and risky, and will not be a common method

to cure all patients with HIV, the report said.

The number of people living with HIV in the world is estimated at 37 million,

according to the Joint United Nations Progr

amme on HIV/AIDS. In China, the number of people living with HIV was

estimated at 1.25 million as of the end of las

t year, and the number of new cases is

around 80,000 a year, according to the National Health Commission.

Although it is generally thought that HIV/AIDS cannot be cured, many patient

s with the virus can live a mostly normal

life with anti-viral treatment that keeps the virus at a low level.

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