In an exclusive interview with imstilljosh.com, Timothy Ray Brown answers whether he would go through the medical experience of being cured of HIV again and if he feels pressure to be the face of the cure?
Timothy Ray Brown, also termed The Berlin Patient because his identity was not initially known by media, is the only person credited as being cured of HIV. Although his story is well-documented as being the only person still cured of HIV, even recently by Queerty, was it possible that this attention given to Brown might be inadvertently pressuring him to be the on-going face of the epidemic that has claimed approximately 39 millionº lives?
After I met Timothy Ray Brown for the first time at the United States Conference on AIDS, Brown agreed to an exclusive interview where I posed some of the questions I have wondered that have never been reported, nor asked of Brown as he admits. The answers he gives during the interview surprise me and are very telling.
Pressure To Remain HIV Cure?
Josh Robbins: “Do you feel pressure from the community to remain that face of hope? And if you were ever to find out that… the HIV had returned, would you want to share that publicly? Would you not? Is it not important now? Do you feel pressure?”
Timothy Ray Brown: “Yea, I do feel a certain amount of pressure. Like I said, I don’t feel the HIV could return because of my sexual practices.”
Josh Robbins: “Anyone can check with the National Institutes of Health to verify the cure, right?” “At what point can you just be you, and feel like you have done enough?”
Timothy Ray Brown: “I actually kinda think that I have done enough. But, I there is part of me that says that you’ve got to do more, that you got to prove wholly and absolutely that I am cured of HIV and there is no HIV in my body.”
Would You Go Through The Process That Almost Killed You Again to be cured of HIV?
Timothy Ray Brown: “In my case, actually, it’s kinda, it’s more extreme because I feel guilty because I am cured. And just through a stroke of luck, I mean I had to go through a lot of hell and I often say that I wouldn’t recommend what I went through on my worst enemy.”
Josh Robbins: “Would you go through it again?”
Timothy Ray Brown: “Umm”.
Josh Robbins: “Do you think now looking at, everything you’ve gone through and, you know, the really lows, because your doctor had to almost, practically kill you.”
Timothy Ray Brown: “kill me… yea yea.”
Josh Robbins: “Would you go that far again?”
Timothy Ray Brown: “Umm.. Thats a very tough question. I don’t think anybody has ever asked me that before. Ah, umm, knowing what I had to go through… ummm… I, ee. I think actually, umm, this probably sounds horrible and I probably shouldn’t say it, I think I would rather, rather, umm, rather keep on taking my HIV medicine.”
Josh Robbins: “Yea? I mean, that doesn’t sound horrible. I mean, you’re the only person ever in the world that’s experienced what you have experienced. And when we say that you’ve gone to hell and back, like you, literally, almost have.”
Timothy Ray Brown: “Yea, I have.”
º recognizes estimates are anywhere from 35million-43million.