Timothy Ray Brown, also known as “the Berlin patient”, was 54 years old.
Brown was considered cured of his HIV infection in 2008. The previous year, Brown received a bone marrow transplant in Berlin, Germany, to treat a separate disease he had been diagnosed with: acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
The bone marrow he received came from a donor whose genes carried a rare mutation that made the donor naturally resistant to HIV, known as CCR5-delta 32, who was transferred to Brown.
Brown remained HIV-free, but for the past six months he has been living with a relapse of leukemia that had entered his spine and brain, according to the International AIDS Society (IAS).
“On behalf of all its members and the Governing Council, the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy̵
“We owe Timothy and his physician, Gero Hütter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,” states the IAS statement.
Brown lived in Berlin from 1993 to 2010 while working in a bar and as a German-English translator, wrote his partner Tim in a Facebook post. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 and was later diagnosed with AML in 2007.
Brown “has committed his life’s work to telling his story about his HIV cure and has become an ambassador of hope,” his partner wrote.
“I’m really lucky that we shared a life together, but I’m heartbroken that my hero is gone,” he said. “Tim was truly the sweetest person in the world. Tim’s spirit will live on and the love and support of family and friends will help me get through this difficult time.”
Over two years ago, Adam Castillejo – formerly identified as “the London patient” – ended HIV antiretroviral therapy, making him the second person to be treated for HIV.
Unlike Brown, Castillejo only underwent one stem cell transplant instead of two and did not receive full-body radiation therapy as part of his treatment.
CNN’s Gina Yu and Amy Woodyatt contributed to this report.