Shortly after a profile in HIV Plus Magazine, wherein the publication wrote of his enduring love for his longtime partner Tim Hoeffgen, Timothy Ray Brown has died. Brown, who made headlines after he was "cured" of HIV, was 54.
Known widely as the "Berlin patient," Brown passed in his home in Palm Springs, California, where he's been spending his last days. He had leukemia and to fight that cancer, he underwent bone marrow transplants in 2007 and 2008 which got rid of his HIV infection — that procedure has been successfully replicated only once since. The transplants also rid Brown of the cancer and almost killed him.
The instance made global news in 2012 when Brown's story was told at the International AIDS Conference. It was there that he was named the "Berlin patient." Brown's cancer has since returned.
HIV Plus reported that in April, Brown was admitted to a cancer hospital as the leukemia had "invaded his spine and brain." Hoeffgen was by his side, as he had been since 2013 after the two met on Scruff. They were there for seven weeks before relocating to their home where Brown received hospice care.
“Timothy is not dying from HIV, just to be clear,” Hoeffgen said. “HIV has not been found in his bloodstream since he was cured. That’s gone. This is from the leukemia. God, I hate cancer.” Brown reportedly had one request for the news of his condition going public:
"Tell people to keep fighting," he told Hoeffgen to tell the public. "Fight for a cure for HIV that works for everyone. I never wanted to be the only one."
"On behalf of all its members and the Governing Council, the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the IAS and professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Malaya, said in a statement.
"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."