She is now the second person to have HIV naturally cured without any drug treatment.

Researchers call her the ‘Esperanza patient’, a 30-year-old woman who has been studying at Harvard, Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital and Buenos Aires. 

The patient had over 1 billion genetic cells, and researchers found no HIV evidence.

According to them, the woman may be what’s known as an “elite controller” of the virus. It is rare for a patient to have the ability suppress the virus but show no symptoms.

She said that she enjoys being healthy and spoke Spanish to NBC News via email under the anonymity condition.

“I am a happy parent. It’s not necessary to take medication, so I can live like nothing happened. It is already a privilege. 

Research suggests that only 0.5 percent HIV-infected individuals have a strong immune response to the virus. This is in addition to approximately 38 million HIV-infected persons worldwide.

Researchers may find the key to HIV resistance in HIV patients and develop treatments to reduce the burden on patients. 

Scientists have identified a second patient who appears to be completely cured of HIV through her own immune system, no treatments (File image)

Scientists discovered a second patient with HIV who has been completely treated by her immune system.

In the U.S., HIV is most prevalent in several Southern states, parts of the Northeast, Nevada, and California, according to the CDC

The CDC reports that HIV prevalence is highest in Southern States, Nevada, California and parts of the Northeast.

The COVID-19 epidemic has been the most serious global health emergency for two years. HIV/AIDS continues to be a major threat worldwide.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body and can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 Million people in the United States were HIV positive at the end 2019

In that year, 37,000 Americans received HIV diagnosis. HIV is most prevalent in blacks and Latinos, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.

An estimated 38 million HIV-positive people live worldwide, with more than half of them living in Africa.

HIV can be a difficult disease to treat due to the nature of its operation.

Retroviruses carry single-stranded genes called RNA to human cells. These cells then fuse with the RNA and become factories for HIV.

The best option currently for HIV patients is an antiretroviral treatment (or AART) that prevents it from creating more copies within the body.

This treatment is effective in helping HIV patients live long and healthy lives. However, the patient must adhere to a strict daily regimen that can prove costly and difficult to follow.

To find potential new therapies, scientists have been studying HIV resistant patients.

Xu Yu, an immunologist at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard, leads the team that identified both cured patients

Xu Yu (an immunologist at Harvard Medical School, MIT and Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital) is the leader in the search for both cured people

Xu Yu (an immunologist at Harvard, Ragon Institute for Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT) heads a research group that has this particular focus.

Yu and his team have now found two HIV-positive patients.

This is what scientists call a “sterilizing cure” – the two patients received HIV treatment without any drug or bone marrow transplants.

In Nature’s 2020 paper, the first patient to be cured was described.

Yu’s group sequenced nearly one billion cells of this patient (the ‘San Francisco Patient’) and found no HIV.

In a Monday paper, Annals of Internal Medicine published the second case of a patient who was cured.

Yu’s group sequenced 1.19Billion blood cells from the patient, as well as 500M tissue cells. They found no HIV-related evidence.

A second patient was identified as the “Esperanza Patients”; he lives in Esperanza (Argentina) and was tested positive for HIV in 2013.

Yu’s team has worked with scientists in Buenos Aires to sequence genomic material from this patient since 2017, according to STAT News.

Yu stated in a statement that ‘These findings and the identification of another case indicate there may exist an actionable pathway to a sterilizing treatment for those who are unable to do so on their own’. 

Yu believes that the patients might have an unusual capacity in their killer T cells. These immune cells are responsible for identifying and eliminating cancer cells.

By destroying enough HIV-infected cells with killer T cells, the virus can be stopped from reproducing and patients will not get sick.

This ability is what scientists call HIV-positive patients ‘elite controllers’. Most of these HIV patients have low levels of HIV and don’t display symptoms.

According to studies, about 0.5% of HIV-positive people around the globe are considered elite controllers.

Gay and bisexual men, along with black and Latino Americans, are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection in the U.S.

HIV is more common in gay, bisexual, and black men than it is for Latino and Black Americans.

Yu explained that they were now exploring the possibility to instill this type of immunity in people on ART via vaccination with the aim of teaching their immune systems how to fight the virus.

HIV treatment has already been successful in curing two HIV-positive patients. One man, the ‘Berlin Patient,’ was cured with the help of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in 2008.

In 2019, a second man was treated for the disease, known as “London Patient” – similar to a bone marrow donation.

The ‘Esperanza Patients,’ the San Francisco Patients, and other top controllers will help scientists better understand how HIV can lurk in our bodies for long periods and lead some people to have their immune systems neutralize it.

STAT News spoke with scientists interested in the case of Esperanza patient. They wanted to know more about her immune system and how it responded when she became infected.

Scientists are working to find a cure for HIV. Instead of having HIV patients depend on their daily medication, they hope that a vaccine can be developed.

“Just the thought that my condition may help to cure this virus makes it seem like I feel a tremendous responsibility and commitment,” wrote Esperanza Patient in an email sent to STAT News.

According to the doctor, ‘Esperanza is an appropriate title because it literally means ‘hope’. 

This patient is expecting a second baby after having given birth to a child HIV-negative.