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Community forum to include first person cured of HIV
From a press release
2014-04-10

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CHICAGO—To mark the sevenyear anniversary of Timothy Ray Brown being cured of HIV, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ), Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and other Chicagoarea partners will host him at "Curing HIV—Only a Start," a community forum and QandA session on April 23, 2014, from 68 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center's Cassidy Auditorium at 78 E. Washington St.

Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," was diagnosed as HIVpositive in 1995. In 2006, his physician diagnosed him with acute myeloid leukemia and treated Brown with a difficult stem cell transplant. This treatment caused his HIV levels to drop, and he ended his antiretroviral therapy after his HIV was undetectable. He has remained off HIV medicines for 7 years, and the consensus among HIV scientists and doctors is that he is cured of HIV.

The evening will also include updates on Chicagoarea research efforts to seek a cure for HIV from leaders of HIV/AIDS research and awareness institutes — though a way to cure HIV for a larger number of infected persons is many years away, and is by no means guaranteed.

"Timothy Ray Brown's story inspires us to continue to take risks in the fight for an HIV cure," said John Peller, interim president/CEO of AFC. "His rare story reminds us that until a cure is widely available, which is probably in the distant future, there are over 28,000 people in Chicago who need ongoing access to HIV medications, treatment and support, and thousands more at risk of HIV who need prevention services."

Mr. Brown was invited to Chicago by HIV researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Other collaborators in planning this discussion are the Chicago Department of Public Health, as well as key leaders from Brothers Health Collective, Vida/SIDA, Center on Halsted, Chicago House, Howard Brown Health Center, University of IllinoisChicago, University of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago.

"Mr. Brown's cure has been inspiring, teaching us that it may be possible for HIVinfected persons to control the virus without daily medicines," said Dr. Richard T. D'Aquila, director of Northwestern HIV Translational Research Center. "However, we still need years of research to find an easier and safer way to accomplish this objective. In Chicago, we are striving to improve HIV prevention and detection, particularly among young people — the only group in which new HIV infections are increasing each year."

The community forum is part of a twoday event; on April 24, Northwestern University's HIV Translational Research Center and IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program will host a daylong workshop on HIV cure research, discussing alternative and less difficult ways to reach a cure in addition to stem cell transplantation and synergizing cure research with local HIV prevention efforts.

More information on "Curing HIV—Only a Start" can be found at aidschicago.org . Media contact:

Brian J. Solem, bsolem@aidschicago.org, 3127849092

Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a catalyst for local, national and international action against HIV/AIDS.

aidschicago.org


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