How the Berlin Patients Defeated HIV and Forever Changed Medical Science
Dutton Books, Hardcover, 9780525953920, 313pp.
Publication Date: February 27, 2014
Two men, known in medical journals as the Berlin Patients, revealed answers to a functional cure for HIV. Their cures came twelve years apart, the first in 1996 and the second in 2008. Each received his own very different treatment in Berlin, Germany, and each result spurred a new field of investigation, fueling innovative lines of research and sparking hope for the thirty-four million people currently infected with HIV. For the first time, Nathalia Holt, who has participated in some of the most fruitful research in the field, tells the story of how we came to arrive at this astounding and controversial turning point.
Holt explores the two men's stories on a personal level, looking at how their experiences have influenced HIV researchers worldwide including one very special young family doctor who took the time to look closely at his patients and how they responded to their medications.
Based on extensive interviews with the patients and their doctors as well as her own in-depth research, this book is an unprecedented look at how scientists pursue their inquiries, the human impact their research has, and what is and is not working in the relationship between Big Pharma and medical care.
Praise for Cured
"In this accessible and fascinating account, Holt, a research scientist trained at MIT and Harvard...brings to light the remarkable early breakthroughs in treating a once fatal condition." - Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating discourse on how medical science is zeroing in on an HIV vaccine after several anomalous triumphs...An astute AIDS retrospective blended with contemporary updates on aggressive medical strategies." - Kirkus Reviews
“In this exquisitely detailed telling of medicine's desperate fight to control the HIV epidemic, author Nathalia Holt reminds us that all the best medical stories are foremost stories of people - their determination, their courage, and their ability, in the best of circumstances, to rewrite history in a way that protects us all.”—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook
“I am eagerly anticipating Nathalia Holt’s telling of the Berlin Patients and the implications of their apparent cure from HIV infection.”
—David Baltimore, Nobel Laureate for Medicine, professor of Biology, and former president, California Institute of Technology