U Doctors Try to Cure 12-Year-Old Boy With HIV

Updated: 04/23/2013 5:41 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Six tablespoons of blood may turn a 12-year-old boy with both AIDS and leukemia into a healthy long-term survivor, according to the University of Minnesota.

The blood, from an umbilical cord, holds the best hope for wiping out both diseases, U officials reported. But officials warn that a transplant like this is risky.

It was attempted once before with bone marrow, in Berlin several years ago. It worked. The man is HIV free.

On Tuesday, doctors at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital infused the cord blood into the boy, who has traveled a long distance for this new treatment, according to the U. The blood contains potent stem cells that will not only destroy the leukemia but also form a new immune system.

Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Specialists John Wagner and Michael Verneris talked with KSTP Reporter Naomi Pescovitz about the procedure.

Watch the raw interview here.

Read the 2012 HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports here.

Read a study about the long-term control of HIV here.

More information about the procedure can be found here.