he first woman in the world has been cured of HIV, scientists in the US have reported.
The patient is now believed to be the third person cured of Aids-causing disease, the first two people were both male.
She had been treated for leukaemia – the cancer which starts in blood-forming cells in bone marrow.
The woman received the stem cell transplant from someone who has natural resistance to HIV in 2017.
A transplant of umbilical cord blood was given to the woman as part of the treatment, the first time this method has ever been used.
Due to the treatment, the woman has now been virus free for 14 months.
Sharon Lewin, President-Elect of the International AIDS Society, said: “This is now the third report of a cure in this setting, and the first in a woman living with HIV.”
The New York woman, who is middle-aged and of mixed race, was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and leukaemia in 2017.
The case is part of a larger US-backed study led by Dr. Yvonne Bryson of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
It aims to follow 25 people with HIV who undergo a transplant with stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood for the treatment of cancer and other serious conditions.
The case was presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver.
Dr Koen van Besien, one of the doctors involved in the treatment, said: “We estimate that there are approximately 50 patients per year in the US who could benefit from this procedure.
“The ability to use partially matched umbilical cord blood grafts greatly increases the likelihood of finding suitable donors for such patients.”
The two previous cases had received stem cells from adults which are more frequently used bone marrow treatments.
Ms Lewin concluded: “Taken together, these three cases of a cure post stem cell transplant all help in teasing out the various components of the transplant that were absolutely key to a cure.”