- Timothy Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 while living in Berlin but was cured of the virus in 2007 following a unique bone marrow transplant
- He has been living free of the virus for over a decade and his doctors thought his blood cancer had also gone into remission
- However, it relapsed in late 2019 and spread to his brain and spine which saw him put on hospice care
- Brown succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, September 30
The first person known to have been cured of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) following a unique bone marrow transplant Timothy Ray Brown has died.
Brown who was known as Berlin patient died on Wednesday, September 30, in California after relapsing with blood cancer in 2019.
Brown's death was announced on his social media pages by his partner Tim Hoeffgen who was with time at the time of his demise.
"It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away…this afternoon surrounded by myself and friends, after a five-month battle with leukaemia," Hoeffgen wrote.
He added that Brown was his hero and the sweetest person in the world.
A report by ABC showed doctors thought the 54-year-old's leukaemia had also gone into remission following the bone marrow transplant but it returned.
The medics said Brown's blood cancer had spread to his spine and brain and he had recently been in hospice care in his hometown of Palm Springs.
He had remained clear of HIV for more than a decade after undergoing treatment in Berlin where he also received the bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV.
This meant he no longer needed anti-viral drugs and the International Aids Society said Brown gave the world hope that HIV cure was possible.
Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society, said he would mourn Brown with a profoundly heavy heart.
"We owe Brown and his doctor, Gero Huetter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible," Kamarulzaman said.
His treatment involved destroying his bone marrow, which was producing the cancerous cells and then having a bone marrow transplant.
The transfer came from a donor that had a rare mutation in part of their DNA called the CCR5 gene.
The 54-year-old who was born in the US was diagnosed with HIV while he lived in Berlin in 1995. and in 2007, he developed a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia.