Timothy Ray Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient” whose HIV was apparently eradicated after a bone-marrow transplant, announced Tuesday that he is starting a foundation to fund research to find a cure for the virus.
“I am the first, and I believe the first of many people who will be cured of the AIDS virus,” said Brown, looking frail in a charcoal gray suit, at a news conference at the Westin Hotel on M street. “My body is proof of the concept that HIV can be cured.”
Refuting reports that his HIV had returned, Brown said that any virus still remaining in his body was dead. “There is undoubtedly a certain amount of skepticism, but that is the way science progresses,” he said.
Brown spoke as the 2012 International AIDS Conference is being held in Washington. The conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a gathering of policymakers, scientists, delegates, advocates, persons living with HIV/AIDS and others working to end the disease. I
Brown, who lives in San Francisco, said he will work in partnership with the Washington-based World AIDS Institute to raise money for research.
Also presented at the conference on Tuesday was a new report that indicates the number of African-American high school students engaging in risky sexual behavior has dropped significantly in the past 20 years.
According to the analysis released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disparities in such risky behavior between black and white youths still persists, but the new data shows the gap narrowed dramatically between 1991 and 2001.
The International AIDS Conference runs through July 27.