“I feel good,” Brown told ABC News. “I haven’t had any major illnesses, just occasional colds like normal people.”
Brown is the only person in the world to be cured of AIDS, the result of a transplant of blood stem cells he received to treat leukemia.
“My case is the proof in concept that HIV can be cured,” he said.
Brown got lucky. The blood stem cells he received came from a donor with a special genetic mutation that made him resistant to HIV. The genetic mutation occurs in less than 1 percent of Caucasians, and far less frequently in people of other races. Before Brown got his transplant in 2007, doctors tested nearly 70 donors for this genetic mutation before they found one who was a match.
But doctors hope that a similar solution could help other people with HIV: umbilical cord blood transplants.
Dr. Lawrence Petz, medical director of StemCyte, an umbilical cord blood bank, said although Brown was cured by his transplant, the process was complicated because the blood stem cells came from an adult donor.
“When you do that you have to have a very close match between donor and recipient,” Petz said. “With umbilical cord blood, we don’t need such a close match. It’s far easier to find donor matches.”
But it’s still not that easy. Petz and his colleagues have tested 17,000 samples of cord blood so far, and found just 102 that have the genetic HIV-resistant mutation. The team performed the first cord blood transplant on an HIV-infected patient a few weeks ago, and they have another transplant planned for a similar patient in Madrid, Spain, later this year. It will still be months before researchers can tell if the transplants have any effect on the patients’ HIV.
Petz also noted that transplants aren’t performed solely to treat AIDS. Patients who get them have an additional condition that requires a blood stem cell transplant. Curing their AIDS would be an incredible bonus.
“It can be done. It’s just a matter of time,” Petz said.
Brown had his transplant in February 2007. Today, his body shows no signs of the virus.
Brown said he feels guilty being the only person to have been cured of the virus when millions still live with it. But he hopes his story will inspire others that a cure is possible.
“I don’t want to be the only person in the world cured of HIV. I want a cure for everyone,” he said.
As I’ve Matured… I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
I’ve learned that one good turn gets most of the blankets. I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jackasses.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
I’ve learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others – they are more screwed up than you think.
I’ve learned that depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
I’ve learned that it is not what you wear; it is how you take it off.
I’ve learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you’re finished.
I’ve learned to not sweat the petty things, and not pet the sweaty things.
I’ve learned that ex’s are like fungus, and keep coming back.
I’ve learned age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
I’ve learned that I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy it.
I’ve learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
I’ve learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
I’ve learned that 99% of the time when something isn’t working in your house, one of your kids did it.
I’ve learned that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away. And the real pains in the ass are permanent.
So who’s is right? which one will lead me to salvation and which one to hell? what if I try to belive in say 2100 of those I might have a 50/50 chance? crap i better sign up for all of them, well except the ones who hate the gay’s. Recently I became entangled in a debate on why I’m going to hell because I am a lesbian. Now im not 100% sure but the bible wasnt created to spread hate? Why would jesus want to send the gay’s to hell? If God is the Creator than maybe we should leave the judging to him. Now I will not and never will preach my beliefs, they are mine and mine alone. If I want to believe that aliens created the universe then so be it, who are you to judge?
Now here is an idea, maybe the bible is not ment to be taken so literally? If in deed it was we are all going to hell gays and straight’s alike. Check out my blog on Why I Cant Own Canadians for more details. Why is it ok to pick and choose which scriptures are ok to follow and which ones we conveniently forget?
The main argument that I had today was if in the US we have freedom of religion and separation of church and state, why is ok to create laws based on one groups religion?
Also there is many more important issues in the world than who I marry and that JC Penny loves the gays. Some real issues could be say world hunger, global warming, how about terrorism? or the many wars around the world? what about the fact that the Celtics lost because of crappy refs? It seems like God might have bigger issues to deal with then us dammed homo’s.
I just think more people should look at the big picture, society is not made up of one religion.
Posted by Chris Geidner |
May 31, 2012 10:45 AM | Permalink
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse” — is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled today. The decision by a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States, is the first instance of a federal appellate court striking down any portion of the 1996 law.
Writing that “Supreme Court review of DOMA is highly likely,” the appeals court has stayed, or put on hold, the implementation of its decision pending any appeal.
Judge Michael Boudin, appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush, wrote for the court: “[M]any Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.”
The decision follows oral arguments that were held in the cases on April 4. Today’s decision upholds U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro’s July 8, 2010, decision finding the federal law defining marriage as consisting of only one man and one woman to be unconstitutional.
In these cases, the appeal of which were heard together on April 4, the lawyer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Mary Bonauto, was joined in opposing the law by two government lawyers: Department of Justice Civil Division Chief Stuart Delery and Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights section chief Maura Healey.
Because DOJ stopped defending Section 3 of DOMA in February 2011, the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — controlled 3-2 by Republicans — voted to defend the law. Paul Clement, a lawyer for Bancroft PLLC, was hired to do so, and was the sole lawyer defending the law in Boston on April 4.
Although some of the parties seeking to strike down the law had urged that the court apply a form of “heightened scrutiny,” similar to the examination courts make to laws classifying people based on race or sex, for example, the court held that it was limited by its own earlier decision in a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” challenge, as well as the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has not chosen to use a higher standard of review yet.
In the absence of heightened form of scrutiny, courts traditionally seek only a rational basis to uphold the validity of a law. Looking at a series of cases that “stressed the historic patterns of disadvantage suffered by the group adversely affected” — most recently, the Romer v. Evans challenge to Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2 — the court noted another route: “These three decisions did not adopt some new category of suspect classification or employ rational basis review in its minimalist form; instead, the Court rested on the case-specific nature of the discrepant treatment, the burden imposed, and the infirmities of the justifications offered.”
Applying this standard — sometimes called “rational basis with teeth” — the court held that none of the potential reasons for upholding Section 3 of DOMA passed constitutional muster.
As to the federalism principles — questions relating to the allocation of powers between and among the federal government and the states — that were primarily advanced by Massachusetts in its case, Boudin wrote for the court, “In our view, neither the Tenth Amendment nor the Spending Clause invalidates DOMA; but Supreme Court precedent relating to federalism-based challenges to federal laws reinforce the need for closer than usual scrutiny of DOMA’s justifications and diminish somewhat the deference ordinarily accorded.”
After examing the potential justifications offered by BLAG, the court held, “Several of the reasons given do not match the statute and several others are diminished by specific holdings in Supreme Court decisions more or less directly on point. If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress’ will, this statute fails that test.”
Boudin did so despite holding that the court “do[es] not rely upon the charge that DOMA’s hidden but dominant purpose was hostility to homosexuality.”
Boudin was joined in the decision by Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, and Judge Juan Torruella, appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said today of the decision, “There’s no question that this is in concert with the president’s views.” He went on to note that the Department of Justice participated in the oral arguments defending its view that Section 3 is unconstitutional.
BLAG will now need to decide if it wishes to ask all of the judges of the First Circuit to review the decision en banc — which Bonauto noted in a conference call today is unlikely due to the fact that the small size of the court, five active judges, makes reversal extremely unlikely — or whether it immediately move to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case in a process called certiorari.
A second DOMA challenge, Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, is on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is scheduled for oral arguments in early September. It was struck down by Judge Jeffrey S. White earlier this year. A third DOMA decision, in Dragovich v. Department of Treasury, was issued on May 24, striking down Section 3 of DOMA as it impacts the ability of same-sex couples to participate in a California pension fund program.
Additionally, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has a pending challenge, McLaughlin v. Panetta, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has its own challenge, Cooper-Harris v. United States, challenging DOMA’s application to servicemembers and veterans’ benefits. Both are still at the trial-court stage.
READ the opinion: Gill-FirstCircuit.pdf
[Photo: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders lawyer Mary Bonauto, left, apeaks with reporters along with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), right, and her Civil Rights Division chief, Maura Healey, outside the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston on April 4, 2012. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)]
We are making progress and I could not be more thrilled!!!!!!! Found this story on FB posted by author Ann Rice who is a wonderful defender of LTGB rights