February 13, 2013 | by Dave Purdy
The cure for HIV rides a bike

As I watched Timothy Ray Brown mount his new red mountain bike, my parental instincts kicked in. What if he fell or couldn’t stop or hurts himself in some other way? Frightened, I kept visualizing how the media would handle the story: “Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of HIV, dies,” they’d say, “but not from HIV or cancer or his chemotherapy, stem cell transplant or other invasive treatments. Rather, he fell off his bicycle and succumbed to a severe head injury.”

The answer for an HIV cure for the world lies within Timothy, somewhere. I’m aware some may criticize Timothy’s riding a bike or going skydiving, bungee jumping, even driving a car.  Yes, he’s the first person to be cured of the world’s most unrelenting disease, but what’s even more important is he’s a human being who wants to live life to its fullest.

“The Berlin Patient” is the name the media gave Brown. At the time, he was living in Berlin and wished to remain anonymous. Why the anonymity? Because Timothy couldn’t believe it was true, he told us. He feared his cure was temporary and the HIV would return. After all, he said, it was only a year or so earlier that his leukemia had resurfaced. Of course, eventually the media learned his name.

On Feb. 20, Timothy celebrates the sixth anniversary of the procedure that led to his cure.

As many of you know, I’m the founder and Chad Johnson is the co-founder of the World AIDS Institute (WAI), established to document and preserve the global history of AIDS, inspire action today to improve the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS (and their family, friends, and communities) and strengthen the spectrum of innovative initiatives to find a cure.

Timothy is co-founder of WAI and founder of the Timothy Ray Brown Foundation of WAI that Chad and I helped launch eight months ago. The Timothy Ray Brown Foundation is the world’s first organization in the 31-year history of the AIDS epidemic whose sole mission is to find a cure for HIV.

Let me tell you a story. A few months ago, I was having lunch with Timothy when he said — in a burst of outrage — he wanted to go to the top of the Empire State Building and tell the world about the injustices people living with HIV face on a daily basis. Timothy vowed he would use his energy to make this right.

I told Timothy that I understood his anger and frustration, but felt diluting our message – finding a cure – might be counterproductive. “I think not,” he said, pointing out he had been HIV positive twice as long as he has been cured. Then he looked at me the same way he did months ago when he told me he was launching an organization to find a cure. His plan was to announce it during the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. He asked us to help him.

The day before we were to launch the Timothy Ray Brown Foundation, we hosted a reception with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Library of Congress. I remember seeing her aide whisper to her that Timothy was at the other end of the room. It would be the first time they would meet. Immediately, she started toward Timothy. As they met in the middle of the room, she looked him in the eyes and said, “You are miracle. You are a miracle.” Then they embraced.  She held onto him for a long time as if his energy would help heal the wounds of the hundreds of people in her California district who had died from AIDS, many of them her friends.

It is true: Timothy Ray Brown may be a miracle. But he also is a human being. And if he wants to ride his new red mountain bike, he should do it as fast and as far as he wants. Timothy Ray Brown, the first person in the world cured of HIV, wants to live life to the fullest. He just wants to ride his bike.

Dave Purdy is Founder and CEO of the World AIDS Institute. Reach him at dpurdy@worldaidsinstitute.org.

9 Comments
  • Good morning everyone, my name is Miss Bernille from brazil, I have been suffering from Hiv/Aids for over 4years now, and suddenly, I have spent all my money all to make sure I get healthy all day, but happily, last month january 12th 2013, I came in contact with a traditional doctor also known as a chief priest on a newspaper who is called Dr Olorun Oduduwa who has help much people to cure their aids disease, firstly I taught it was a joke until I contacted him " 'olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com' " and he said that if I am ready for this work, I told him yes, and he collected my details and told me that after he has finished consulting his oracle he will run back to me on when to go for a medical check up, I was unhealthyling surprise. And truly last week monday dr olorun called me to quickly go for a medical checkup, which I did, only to find out that I was not with any HiV disease anymore, my friends and families who left me before run back to me.
    I now found out that God in Heaven is using this man to bless and heal us all, he is a great and powerful man, again I say to you sir, that God almightly will uplift you and your great work you did for I and other people.
    Pls I will sincerely advice all Hiv patient to contact this great powerful man called Dr Olo RU NOdudu Wa for your solutions now at : 'Olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com'.
    he will help you on your Hiv problems.
    email: 'Olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com'

  • No bad words towards this lucky man, only jealously and the balls to admit it. I can speak for most people when I say, “I wish it was me.” To have what he had and read articles weekly about a cure makes me feel odd to have it still. When will it be my turn? I have money, who wants it? Is the continued question which leads to no answers.

  • “The Timothy Ray Brown Foundation is the world’s first organization in the 31-year history of the AIDS epidemic whose sole mission is to find a cure for HIV.”
    Q. How are you going to do this?

    “The answer for an HIV cure for the world lies within Timothy, somewhere.”
    Q. From what i have read the procedure that cured him is not viable as a cure. Is there new information you are privy to that we do not know?

    Other than these two questions all i see here is a self-promotion piece for your foundations that appear to be doing nothing other than saying you have these foundations. Do you ever plan on doing anything to find a cure and if so what and when?

  • Great article and so uplifting and courageous

  • help by getting more funding to help people living with AIDS to help keep their dignity it takes more than history or good cheer or pills to do this, open procedures up to the poor and not just for the rich HIV + advocates in different parts of the country and stop corruption by having more transparency & oversight1.

  • Glory Be To The Lord Almighty.
    join me to thank this man worthy to be called my great and powerful father called Dr Olorun Oduduwa. Last time I met a comment online against the great and powerful work Dr Olorun has done with her HIV/AIDS ailment.

    Firstly:
    i will thank Mrs Bernille for letting the world knows the powerful man that help her from AIDS disease. This was what I have all my life been waiting for since I was infected by HIV last 6 months. I always spend money for drugs always but still yet my weight becomes poorer and my joint always getting painful and inching all day. But when I met this comment last 3 days, I quickly contacted Dr Olorun Oduduwa the Traditonal helper. He is from the western part of africa, I did'nt spend much as I spent for drugs each day, and I for the fact truly reason this because my life was already as take by this disease called AIDs. Truly, when it was 9 oclock on monday this week he called me that his oracle urgently required some few life items to enable the disease wipe out successfully, then I was asked to send down 200 usd ($). Which I did. He trully bought the items and suprisingly, yesterday afternoon Dr Olorun called me that my work has been finally done and it work out well. I was glad and he told me to rush down to my hospital for checkup. Which I really did, my brothers and sisters I went down crying because no one has ever done this to a person in life. Dr olorun oduduwa truly healed me. I was crying it was a dream to my eyes when the doctor said to me that I am HIV NEGATIVE. I am now a free born in life, am now like other people who now think things like human. For these days and forever, I will accept Dr Olorun as my father and my healer and helper. He is a great man. Thank you sir. I know I cant reward you. But my God in heaven can. Thank you sir once again.
    Regards.
    Email him now for your problem solve at: ( Olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com ).
    Alicia Mcpher from USA.

  • Glory Be To The Lord Almighty.
    join me to thank this man worthy to be called my great and powerful father called Dr Olorun Oduduwa. Last time I met a comment online against the great and powerful work Dr Olorun has done with her HIV/AIDS ailment.

    Firstly:
    i will thank Mrs Bernille for letting the world knows the powerful man that help her from AIDS disease. This was what I have all my life been waiting for since I was infected by HIV last 6 months. I always spend money for drugs always but still yet my weight becomes poorer and my joint always getting painful and inching all day. But when I met this comment last 3 days, I quickly contacted Dr Olorun Oduduwa the Traditonal helper. He is from the western part of africa, I did'nt spend much as I spent for drugs each day, and I for the fact truly reason this because my life was already as take by this disease called AIDs. Truly, when it was 9 oclock on monday this week he called me that his oracle urgently required some few life items to enable the disease wipe out successfully, then I was asked to send down 200 usd ($). Which I did. He trully bought the items and suprisingly, yesterday afternoon Dr Olorun called me that my work has been finally done and it work out well. I was glad and he told me to rush down to my hospital for checkup. Which I really did, my brothers and sisters I went down crying because no one has ever done this to a person in life. Dr olorun oduduwa truly healed me. I was crying it was a dream to my eyes when the doctor said to me that I am HIV NEGATIVE. I am now a free born in life, am now like other people who now think things like human. For these days and forever, I will accept Dr Olorun as my father and my healer and helper. He is a great man. Thank you sir. I know I cant reward you. But my God in heaven can. Thank you sir once again.
    Regards.
    Email him now for your problem solve at: ( Olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com ).
    Alicia Mcpher from USA.

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