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Patient gives hope for cure to HIV

For years he was known only as the "Berlin Patient," and naysayers refused to believe Timothy Ray Brown was cured of HIV and acute myeloid leukemia with a single bone-marrow transplant.

But not only have tests conducted by the National Institutes of Health proved that Brown is HIV- and cancer-free; an effort gets underway Saturday in New York City to broach the possibility of a cure for others with HIV/AIDS.

The Research Foundation to Cure AIDS, based in Manhattan, is sponsoring a two-hour symposium at Columbia University's Low Library. The event, open to the public, features two panels of speakers, including the Berlin Patient, Brown.

Cell biologist Kambiz Shekdar, the foundation's director, is calling the symposium the first step toward what he hopes will become a "Manhattan Project" aimed at finally defeating HIV worldwide.

"Eight years ago this person was cured and hardly anyone knew about it," Shekdar said Friday. "At first people didn't want to believe it was possible, but now his case has withstood the test of time. And I think it's time that we start thinking about the possibility of a cure for others."

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