A method of curing HIV in a patient in Germany is 'not a universal cure' for the virus.
That's according to Professor Sam McConkey, head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He was speaking after a 53-year-old man in Düsseldorf has become at least the third person with HIV to be declared cleared of the virus.
The patient had a procedure that replaced his bone marrow cells with HIV-resistant stem cells from a donor.
The man, who is being referred to as the 'Düsseldorf patient', stopped taking antiretroviral therapy in 2018 and has remained HIV-free since.
Prof McConkey told Moncrieff this is to be celebrated, but will not be an option for everyone.
"This man's immune system now is behaving like somebody who doesn't have any active HIV in it," he said.
"It's a better studied example of something we've already seen twice before.
"This probably isn't a universal cure for HIV, because having a bone marrow transplant is a very big deal".
Lifting the stigma
Prof McConkey said the procedure can come with viral infections.
"You've got to take immuno-suppressant drugs so you don't get graft versus host disease," he said.
"Unfortunately this character did get some viral infection in the brain and in the eyes.
"So this is not a universal cure for HIV, but it's a really happy good news story."
Prof McConkey hopes this will help lift the stigma around the virus.
"Many people, unfortunately, characterise HIV with a lot of stigma and as something sort of hopeless and incurable," he said.
"That's very wrong, and this story tells us just how wrong that is".
Prof McConkey said people in Ireland should get tested regularly.
"The main challenge in Ireland with HIV care... is late diagnosis," he said.
"So all of us need to say: 'If we have any concerns about HIV, go and get a test done'.
"The HSE brought in this thing called SH:24 about six months ago, for free for everyone.
"You order it on the internet, it comes to your house [and] you test in the privacy and quietness of your own home.
"If there's anything positive then you can get treatment - that's widely available now in Ireland.
"I would recommend everybody between partner changes get this test," he added.
Listen back to the full interview here: