Medical mystery

Woman who has been HIV-positive for 23 years has no symptoms

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William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

A California woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 shows virtually no signs of being infected with the deadly virus, and scientists think her rare condition might hold the keys to unlocking a cure. Loreen Willenburg, 61, is one of 35 million Americans diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, yet unlike almost all others, she takes no medication, has never been sick from the virus and the disease has not damaged her immune system. “In a clinical sense, I’m not progressing toward AIDS,” she told a local news station. Doctors say she’s one of less than one percent of HIV-positive patients in whom the virus is seemingly a non-factor, and detecting the disease in those people can be difficult. But they say studying her rare traits — she’s been part of 13 clinical studies over the years — is critical to finding a vaccine or cure someday.

Read the full story at CBS 13.

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