A BRITISH man has become the first HIV sufferer in the world to be CURED of the killer virus, we can reveal.


In a sensational development that will bring hope to millions dying of Aids, 25-year-old Andrew Stimpson has miraculously tested NEGATIVE for the disease after having it for more than a year.


The results so dumbfounded doctors they repeated the test TWICE because they couldn't believe it — but they could find no trace of HIV in his blood.


They have labelled Andrew's case "medically remarkable". And a spokeswoman for Aids charity the Terence Higgins Trust said: "Nobody has ever spontaneously cleared themselves of HIV.


"It's the statistical equivalent of going to the moon without a spaceship. HIV researchers will be jumping up and down about this."


Now sandwich maker Andrew is to offer himself for medical tests to unlock the secret in his body that has killed off a virus responsible for wiping out 20 million people worldwide since 1981.


"I feel truly special and lucky," he said. "All the doctors have told me it is a medical miracle that I am clear.

"I remember after the repeat tests my doctor came into the room saying, ‘You've cured yourself! This is unbelievable, You're fantastic!'"


"It's important for me to help with research because it can be a big step forward towards a cure for everyone."

Weak



Gay Andrew, from Largs, Ayrshire, caught the virus from his HIV-positive boyfriend Juan.

In May, 2002, worried that he was feeling tired, weak and feverish, he had three blood tests at the Victoria Clinic for Sexual Health in west London, which specialises in HIV.


At first they were all negative — but Andrew was told the virus takes three months to show up in the blood after contraction.


And when he returned for more tests in August, this time they found HIV anti-bodies that proved it was lurking in his body.


He said: "The doctor had said I could live for 10 years, 20 years, maybe 40 years. But I felt instinctively that I would die young.


"I had just turned 22 but after the diagnosis my energy for life was completely lost."

Andrew shared his terrible secret with only two people—his boyfriend and his 20-year-old sister Louise.

Andrew added: "One thing I decided early on was that I never wanted to see the HIV through to Aids." Andrew even began planning his suicide in case he developed full-blown Aids.


Praying



Even though he knew the odds were stacked against him, Andrew began taking a daily cocktail of supplements in a bid to keep as healthy as possible.


Because he was in the early stages — with a low HIV count in his blood — he did not need medication.

"I kept praying for someone to come on the news to announce a remedy. I was praying for some miracle to happen."

And just over a year after Andrew's first diagnosis, it did. Every two months he was going for blood tests and checks on his liver, heart and immune system.


Doctors were astonished at his continuing excellent health, unusual for an HIV sufferer.

So in October 2003 he was offered a repeat HIV test — and the result came back negative.

"I was baffled," said Andrew. "I couldn't understand how anyone could cure themselves of HIV.

"I'd read the research, I knew it had never happened before. I didn't understand how I could be negative after one year especially because I had been having unprotected sex with my partner after the diagnosis, believing we had nothing to lose."


Andrew was convinced there must have been a mistake — not daring to let himself believe the miracle he had prayed for had happened. He was tested again twice and again the results were negative.


Andrew still can't believe what has happened. "I was told for an HIV result to turn from positive into negative is one in a million, billion, trillion chance," he said.


"My life's gone from one extreme to the other. Now all my dreams are back. I'm not religious, but I feel blessed."

Lisa Power, from the Terence Higgins Trust, said: "If Andrew has been cleared of the virus, that needs to be investigated thoroughly to see if it can be reproduced in any way.


"This could be of major interest to HIV researchers. We need to find out precisely what's happened with this person."