Timothy Ray Brown
Timothy Ray Brown

Tributes are being paid to Timothy Ray Brown, the first person to be cured of HIV, who died on Tuesday afternoon after a five month battle with leukaemia.

Timothy Ray Brown was born in 1966 in Seattle where he grew up before moving to Berlin in 1993 to work as a German/English translator.

In 1995 Timothy was diagnosed with HIV, and then twelve years later he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The treatment he received for his AML involved full-body irradiation and two stem cell transplants during which was he was conferred the CCR5 delta 32 deletion which pushed his HIV into remission. From this point on he was nicknamed ‘The Berlin Patient’.

Timothy Ray Brown on the cover of POZ Magazine in June 2011

It wouldn’t be until 2011 when Timothy would speak publicly about his experience, he used his platform to raise awareness of HIV and bring hope to millions of the potential for a cure.

Posting to Facebook, Timothy’s partner Tim Hoeffgen said:

“I am truly blessed that we shared a life together but I’m heartbroken that my hero is now gone. Tim was truly the sweetest person in the world.

Tim’s spirit will live on and the love and support from family and friends will help me through this most difficult time. Celebrate Tim’s life and always have hope.”

The UK Community Advisory board shared:

“”Tell people to keep fighting. Fight for a cure for HIV that works for everyone” Timothy Ray Brown

Your life gave so much hope to millions of people living with HIV around the world.”

Adeeba Kamarulzaman, President of the IAS and Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malaya, said.  

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hütter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible.” 

Timothy remained HIV free until the end.

The HIV community and medical professional owe a huge debt of gratitude to Timothy Ray Brown and his family for their efforts and sacrifices. One man, born in Seattle in 1966, changed our understanding of HIV forever – and gave hope to millions.

Thank you, Tim. Rest in peace.

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