First person

The First Person to Be Cured of HIV Has Passed Away From Cancer – ScienceAlert

Timothy Ray Brown in 2012. (T. J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images via AFP)


1 OCTOBER 2020

The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown – known as the “Berlin Patient” – has died from cancer, the International AIDS Society (IAS) announced Wednesday. 

Brown made medical history and became a symbol of hope for the tens of millions of people living with the virus that causes AIDS when he was cured more than a decade ago.

He had been living with a recurrence of leukaemia for several months and received hospice care at his home in Palm Springs, California. 

“On behalf of all its members… the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” said IAS President Adeeba Kamarulzaman. 

“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.”

Brown was diagnosed with HIV while he was studying in Berlin in 1995. A decade later, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

To treat his leukaemia, his doctor at the Free University of Berlin used a stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that gave him natural resistance to HIV, hoping it may wipe out both diseases.

It took two painful and dangerous procedures, but it was a success: in 2008 Brown was declared free of the two ailments, and was initially dubbed “the Berlin Patient” at a medical conference to preserve his anonymity.

Two years later, he decided to break his silence and went on to become a public figure, giving speeches and interviews and starting his own foundation.

“I am living proof that there could be a cure for AIDS,” he told AFP in 2012. “It’s very wonderful, being cured of HIV.”


Ten years after Brown was cured, a second HIV patient – dubbed “the London Patient” – was revealed to be in remission 19 months after undergoing a similar procedure. 

The patient, Adam Castillejo, is currently HIV-free. In August a California woman was reported to have no traces of HIV despite not using anti-retroviral treatment. 

It is thought she may be the first person to be cured of HIV without undergoing the risky bone marrow treatment. 

Sharon Lewin, president-elect of the IAS and director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia, praised Brown as a “champion and advocate” of a cure for HIV.

“It is the hope of the scientific community that one day we can honour his legacy with a safe, cost-effective and widely accessible strategy to achieve HIV remission and cures using gene editing or techniques that boost immune control,” she said.

© Agence France-Presse

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killed person

1 person killed after Trump supporters, protesters clash in Portland – The Hill

A person was fatally shot in Portland, Ore., late Saturday after clashes erupted between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to visit Kenosha on Tuesday amid unrest Warner calls Intelligence chief’s decision to scale down congressional election security briefings ‘outrageous’ Katyusha rocket lands in Baghdad ‘Green Zone’: report MORE‘s supporters, police said.

The Portland Police Bureau said in a statement that a homicide investigation was underway after officers responded to the sounds of gunfire around 8:46 p.m. It remains unclear whether the shooting in downtown Portland was linked to the skirmishes between demonstrators.

The victim of the shooting was wearing a hat with “Patriot Prayer” emblazoned across the front, according to reports. Patriot Prayer is a far-right group based in Portland that has repeatedly fought with protesters. 

“[Police] responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased,” Portland police said, adding that information on the suspect would not be released. 

In another statement released early Sunday, police acknowledged videos circulating on social media purporting to show the shooting.

“If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said. “This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.”

Sunday’s shooting came after a caravan of vehicles stretching for miles entered downtown Portland, leading to fights, disturbances and collisions, police said. The caravan included hundreds of trucks full of Trump supporters, according to reports. The New York Times noted that the caravan plotted a route that would keep it on a highway but that some ralliers headed downtown and were confronted by counterprotesters. 

Police said the caravan left before 9 p.m. but noted that fights also broke out in the hours after the shooting. Police said there was “sporadic fighting and vandalism” as groups moved downtown late that evening. Ten people were arrested and are facing charges, including disorderly conduct and reckless burning, police added. 

“GREAT PATRIOTS,” Trump said in a post on Twitter early Sunday morning that included video of the caravan.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2020

The police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., reignited protests across the U.S. last week as activists demanded accountability for the officers involved. Protests persisted in Portland; however, they have numbered only about a few hundred people in recent days, the Times reported. 

Portland has seen daily protests since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Tensions in the city intensified in July after the Trump administration deployed federal agents to protect a federal courthouse.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to send federal officers to the city again because of the unrest. He tweeted early Sunday, “The National Guard is Ready, Willing and Able. All the Governor has to do is call!”

Oregon state and local officials decried the federal presence in Portland last month, saying it caused far more harm than good. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said in an open letter to Trump on Friday to keep federal troops away.

“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery,” he said. “Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.”

This report was updated at 8:08 a.m.

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1 person stabbed as thousands protest in Portland; authorities earlier used tear gas on crowd – CNN

Portland, Oregon (CNN)One person was stabbed in downtown Portland early Saturday morning, police said, after another night of protests saw tear gas used on the crowd.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said a crowd emerged outside the federal courthouse, at first peacefully listening to speakers.
About 11 p.m. local time, people began shaking a fence while other people shot fireworks over it. Police then “attempted to disperse the crowd using various munitions,” the statement reads.
Federal agents also began a more forceful response to push the protesters back. Bright flashes and smoke filled the air along with the sounds of loud explosions.
Live video feeds showed federal agents dispersing tear gas and flash bangs from behind the heavy metal fence set up as a barricade between the justice center and protesters.
Before the tear gas was released, a CNN team saw a large crowd of peaceful protesters chanting “Black lives matter” and waving the flashlights on their cell phones in the air while listening to speeches.
It was unclear if police or a federal agency released the gas.
Hundreds of people remained along the fence attempting to pull or push it over while some attempted to cut the fence with power tools, the PPB said. People in the crowd were armed with gas masks, shields, leaf blowers, power tools, fireworks and lasers, the PPB statement said.
Portland has had protests for more than 50 days since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
President Donald Trump said federal officers were sent to the city to protect federal property, but protesters and local leaders have strongly opposed their presence.

Stabbing suspect in custody

At around 2:30 a.m. local time, police received a report of a stabbing at Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street, at which point medics on the scene provided first aid to the victim, who was then taken to a hospital by ambulance, PPB said.
One suspect was taken into custody and the investigation into the incident is ongoing, the PPB statement reads.
The crowd appeared larger than on previous nights and included a diverse group of demonstrators. Joining the so-called “wall of moms” were veterans supporting Black Lives Matter, medical workers in scrubs, and attorneys.
Veterans and their families from all branches tweeted “#WallofVets in Portland. We are here” late Friday night, sharing a video of a group of men and women of guarding what appears to be a group of people in Portland.
Last week Chris David, a Navy veteran, was beaten and pepper sprayed by authorities while attending his first protest in Portland.

Protest responses

On Friday night, a small group of protesters broke away from the larger crowd and began rocking a section of the fence back and forth and tossing fireworks into the barricaded area at around 10:45 p.m. Federal agents responded with a small release of flash bangs and a few canisters of tear gas.
As the group of agitators continued rocking the fence and tossing fireworks across the barricade, federal agents appeared to escalate their response, the CNN team observed.
A large group of the more peaceful protesters appeared to react to the the smaller group of agitators, by walking over and seeming to try to calm the situation.

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