Given how much the phrase "HIV cure" has been thrown around, you might start to think that we actually have one.
We don't. But we're getting closer.
Over the past few years, a tiny -- but slowly growing -- number of people appeared to have had active, living, reproducing HIV completely eliminated from their bodies. We say "appeared" because most of these individuals ultimately relapsed. However, there was a period of sustained remission that needs to be studied more.
This is uncharted territory, and researchers are still working hard to find ways to eradicate HIV or prolong the remission seen in some of these extraordinary cases. For that reason, we tend to refer to people with no sign of HIV in their bodies not as "cured," but as "functionally cured."
Here's a quick look at the most solidly documented "functional HIV cure" cases we know of today.
Warren Tong is the research editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Comment by: Jim
Thu., Nov. 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm EST
in the case of the Argentinian woman, my bet is that she tools one drug or perhaps some natural substance that unwittingly activated the dormant HIV in the reservoirs, and that is why the conventional treatment cleared the virus. More work needs to be done to study what she ate and drank, and any other meds she took at the time.
Comment by: Anonymous
Tue., Nov. 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm EST
My husband was given a death sentence in 1993, he lived a very reckless life using drugs, drinking excessively, and seemingly trying to speed up his sentence with no care for his family or friends, drugs had him like hiv had him, here we are 23 years later, he is now on alot of prescribed narcotics, and alcohol, but he is in better condition than most men his age without hiv, I've often wondered if it was all a story, but I know for sure that the diagnosis of HIV ruined my husband's life, the disease never took him down, but knowing he had it made him live like tomorrow don't exist.
Comment by: Erick
Wed., Nov. 11, 2015 at 2:27 am EST
I read something, they made things they invented it tricks the virus to thinking it's a host it attaches then explode can ya look that up I saw the video on here
Comment by: I Care
(West Virginia )
Sat., Nov. 21, 2015 at 7:20 am EST Yes. There was something on the world news. I can't remember what it is called but they inject into the cells and what ever it is; attacks the virus. Thus eliminating it. Sorry I can't remember what they used.
Comment by: Anonymous
Sun., Nov. 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm EST
What about Cytodyne?do they have a cure?or just a way of keeping the disease cells from spreading to the healthy cells
Comment by: Dawn Litchfrd
Mon., Oct. 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm EDT
I've had hiv for more than 20yrs. I am certain the reason I'm not sick with AIDS is because I smoke Marijuana every day.
Comment by: Michael Louella, defeatHIV CAB Coordinator
Thu., Oct. 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm EDT
Thank you for this summary of the attempts to cure HIV in real people, which misses this summer's report of the 12 year remission in a young woman in France.
My concern focuses on the headline selected, which suggests that there is more than one person considered cure of HIV.
While the text in each slide explains that most of these attempts have not been cures, but rather sustained or limited remission off medicine; the headline alone misleads the reader.
To call the Boston patients or the Mississppi Baby 'cured' clouds any understanding we who are concerned with the ethics around curing HIV struggle with.
How we talk about the control of HIV without meds or the longed-for cure of HIV is of paramount importance to help everyone best navigate the flux of hope and hype of this very real scientific endeavor to control or cure this virus.
If we don't demand appropriate headlines for such pieces, all we will do is further strengthen the confusion already rampant in the general population that a cure already exists, or is right around the corner. Such misunderstanding is the kind of thing that allows people to think HIV is no longer a problem.
The people you highlight here have not been cured of HIV. To say so is wrong. Just ask one of the Boston patients if they've been cured....
They have been participants in the cure-related HIV research to date, and they should be celebrated and thanked for their contributions to science.
Some of them experienced remissions for a limited time; some continue to have a sustained remission; some have died. In all of these cases HIV is present in the body, but controlled without daily meds--which is not a cure to most people.
But my understanding so far is that there is only one person considered cured of HIV (meaning replicating virus no longer in his body): Timothy Ray Brown.
An accurate headline might not be as sensational or sexy, but could you please change this incorrect one?
Comment by: Eric Yetter
(San Jose, CA)
Sun., Oct. 4, 2015 at 2:26 am EDT
Let's get something straight, AIDS cannot be cured because it's not a disease!! It's a condition. A number (t-cells 200)!! If you're below that number you have AIDS! If you're above you don't!!
Comment by: Nych Rien
Thu., Oct. 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm EDT That is a really dumb statement. Use some logic. When they want to cure just rich people or make more money, they just make the cure cost hundreds of thousands a month. It already happens every day. They are trying to change the law but right now they can charge WHATEVER THEY WANT for a drug, even if charging a lot means thousands of poor people die. In fact they already do that alot. Many drugs cost pennies to make and they charge $10,000 a month or even way more, and let people who cant afford it just die. Like i said, they can charge WHATEVER THEY WANT, since there is no law against it.
If they had a cure for AIDS it would be stupid to keep it secret. They at least want the rich to know about it. If they had a cure and wanted only the rich to have it, they would just make it cost millions,then they could make all the money they wanted and noone could stop them.
MOST IMPORTANTLY THOUGH, it would be dumb to make it so much that only the VERY richest could buy it. One hundred patients times a $1,000,000 isnt as good a profit as 10,000 patients times $20,000. Drug companies DO NOT want to deliberately kill poor people if they can instead make the drug BARELY affordable and squeeze their life savings out of them. See, this is what people are all TOO FUVCING STUPID to get. Corporations and billionaires DO NOT HATE POOR PEOPLE. they just DO NOT CARE about them AT ALL. If a company can get rich by helping the poor they will, and if they can get rich by torturing and killing the poor they will.
I get sick of all these conspiracy theories. Corporations DO do all kinds of underhanded and evil things, but when some nut accuses them of doing something that doesnt even make sense or can be proven false, it makes the people who expose the REAL corruption of companies look like idiots.
Conspiracy nuts just HELP the evil corporations, by lumping the brave people who expose corruption in with the people who cant use logic and just make up stories.
Comment by: Christian Herlihy
Wed., Aug. 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm EDT
Perhaps some of Russell Wilson's, recovery water will be the key.
Comment by: Jackie
Sat., Oct. 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm EDT my condolences to you for your mother. It's hard to lose a mother. I lost mine on Christmas last year though not from aids but still a mothers love is like no others. My prayers are with you.
Comment by: Elon Rood
Wed., Aug. 26, 2015 at 5:16 am EDT
In doubt we care about each other too much to let HIV/AIDS die. We can try today.
Let's let go.
Comment by: Jackie
(Bronx, New York )
Sat., Oct. 3, 2015 at 11:22 pm EDT you are very lucky. I also know someone who's HIV+ and is in a relationship for 20 something years and her partner has never contracted the virus and she's had 2 beautiful babies who are also negative. I've done some research and I've found out that even though a person can be having unprotected sex with a partner who is hiv+ and doesn't context the disease is considered to be asymptomatic which basically means they have the antibodies but show negative. Basically what I'm trying to say is that the person will show no signs of being Hiv+ but can still be a carrier. They can go have sex with someone else and pass the disease to that person. It's basically like being a carrier of the disease. My prayers are with you dear.
Comment by: ivonn diaz
Thu., Jul. 9, 2015 at 12:16 pm EDT
I have been sith HIV from 2005 and still take meds but am undetectible what else should be done for me to be totaly cure from it that i dont have to taik any longer meds ...even doughti now im ok i have lived with it for years 10 to be exact..
Comment by: annonoymous
(united States of America )
Sat., Jul. 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm EDT
You just came out a week or 2 ago and said North Korea claims to have a cure for aids no where probably not on speaking terms with them but isn't money the universal language or at least a common ground if they have found a cure why is it so hard for us to. Did anyone think of exchanging notes or going over their research and check it against your own to see where they went right or where you failed to look.
Comment by: tonya
Mon., Jun. 8, 2015 at 12:13 am EDT
Been Pos 25+years and why would they give anyone the cure when they can keep feed us meds that just suppress the virus. They want to make the drugs cheaper so they can lower the cost of drugs. I like in the highest cost of living state but we have a better medical help her then other states.I hope I can be here still if there a cure but am not sure if there will be one.
Comment by: mjm
Sat., May. 30, 2015 at 10:19 am EDT
what a breakthrough.... this is only the beginning ....soon there will be a 100% cure.i wished my brother had a chance...he past away in 2003. thank you to the many scientists who works very hard to find a cure.praying for miracle baby.
Comment by: Jody
(Santa Rosa, CA)
Fri., May. 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm EDT
i was diagnosed in 2004. My T-Cells were actually 17, I had never felt better. I had just got out of rehab. The only effect I have felt was from the meds, or I wouldn't be able to tell I'm positive. I did have to go off my meds and my T-Cells dropped quickly. Right now my T-cells waver at about 1,000.
Comment by: Brooke
Tue., May. 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm EDT
What about the Penn State study? HIV positive individuals were given one treatment of modified T-cells. 10 years later they remained HIV free and never developed AIDS.
Comment by: derrick smoth
Fri., May. 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm EDT
Why no mention of Magic Johnson? He has HIV. And contracted it in 1990. Yet today claims to be disease free & healthier than ever.
Comment by: Kevin
Wed., Jul. 22, 2015 at 6:12 am EDT Magic Johnson makes no claim to be disease free. He, like I do, takes his meds, which control the virus. I contracted HIV in 1991 and am healthy and happy.
Comment by: Bauniculla
Sat., Sep. 19, 2015 at 1:12 am EDT Magic Johnson NEVER had AIDS or HIV. That was a propaganda plan to raise awareness of the disease. Nobody wanted to listen to Elton John or a 13 year old hemophiliac boy. When AIDS/HIV was running rampant, they needed someone famous to take a hit for the disease. You can't cure what you don't have.
Comment by: lisa g.
Mon., May. 18, 2015 at 10:36 pm EDT
Been living with out going pin28yrs.back when for sure we were going to die.after10-12 yrs,i was like wow i might just actually survive this disease.took a long while to get there,but i did.as nearly everyone i ran with had passed away long ago,it decimated an entire generation in my hometown..my numbers have only been above two hundred maybe 3 times.i don't put to much thought as to the #'s.more to how i have felt.asymptomatic for over20.had pcp a couple times,been real real sick one other time.end of life hospice(the Kevorkian way)and yet I'm still here.i refuse to let it rule my world.i believe for me,it's why i am still here.also i think i have a certain strain that doesn't seem to kill me.i am happily a long term survivor,with no intentions of going anywhere..
Comment by: Clyde Conner
Wed., May. 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm EDT
"Magic" Johnson reportedly had HIV 20 years ago.. He looks pretty darn healthy now. Interesting what money can buy....i firmly believe that the US medical society has cures for HIV, cancer, etc available to those that have the green.
Comment by: Megan
Sun., Aug. 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm EDT Yet they're have been plenty of celebrities and people with money who've does from cancer and other diseases.
Comment by: Esther Porch
Sat., May. 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm EDT
I am HIV positive since 2005, i was undetectable since then and remain undetectable now. I have never been sick, I am doing great. I take my medications every morning daily even though my mind tells me I am not sick but the laboratory results are real. How can I become "functionally cured".
Comment by: Annette Williams
( Warner Robins Ga)
Fri., Mar. 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm EDT
Magic Johnson should be a great candidate. He has a healthy lifestyle. People have been giving and giving and no cure. Where is the money going?
Comment by: J
Wed., Dec. 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm EST
I was diagnosed with hiv in 2006. While being in a monogamous relationship with someone who was not truthful about their partners in the past. I have always had a strong immune system, rare colds like maybe 5-6 times (I'm 30). I have never progressed, have an undetectable viral load. I am enrolled in clinical trials to see if they can find out if there is somethin in my DNA that fights off the virus. I am thankful everyday that I am blessed. I want people to study my DNA, I think there is something in there that is helping fight this thing off, I sometimes feel like I don't really have it, but I'm waiting to see what happens I guess.
Comment by: John
Fri., Nov. 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm EST
The cure of HIV is exist but it will not be available to the public until we have a hero or whistleblower who can reveal it to the public.
Comment by: EricD
(New York, my)
Fri., Nov. 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm EST Actually they didn't infect them, they followed the progress of the disease of 400 afr-America men from about 1930-1972. Still not good, but not the same thing.
Comment by: Martian
Mon., Dec. 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm EST You were there, huh? You have proof obviously...
Comment by: lauree
(fort worth tx)
Fri., Aug. 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm EDT
I at one time in my life worked for a homeless sheltet and i watched folks die from this disease. Thank God theres a cure on the horizon.
Comment by: Otto
Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 at 1:52 am EDT
This is out of date. The "miracle baby" and the two Boston bone marrow transplant patients have all had recurrence of active HIV infection.
Comment by: Ben
Mon., Aug. 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm EDT
The reason that Magic Johnson has been omitted off of this list is because I believe he never had been infected with the HIV strain. It had to have recieved a false positive. He has always been the healthiest looking HIV paTient ever
Comment by: Mr. Donaho
Tue., Jul. 22, 2014 at 6:47 am EDT
Several years ago my sister gave birth to my niece and nephew while HIV positive. Both of the children were HIV positive, and aged 1yr apart. By the time they were 6 and 7, they came up HIV negative many times, by many doctors and to this day they are free of HIV. They are in their teens now, and don't even remember having it. The thing is.. they never had HIV treatments more than once.. and yet they still beat it. Praise God.
Comment by: Mitchell
Sat., Jul. 12, 2014 at 5:42 pm EDT
Unfortunately the Mississippi is no longer on the list of "cured". http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/07/10/mississippi-baby-found-infected-with-hiv-after-being-pronounced-cured-last-year/KTd9ofGGt50esP9ylhpMiN/story.html
Comment by: Abdulmalik Oziandu
Thu., May. 22, 2014 at 10:20 am EDT
To get the total cure of HIV needs complete collaboration with not only the European orthodux medicine,with the inclution of African tradomedical herbs we can achieve the total cure.
Comment by: Souci Liberte
(Miami Beach, Florida)
Wed., May. 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm EDT
Just wondering about including the baby in this group. What I was taught was all babies are born with the virus because they were using their mothers blood system and as they start developing their own blood and immunity systems, many of them clear the
Virus. I know this because I have observed it happen over and over. It is a tragedy it is not true for all but it has been true for many.
Comment by: Michelle Moran
(Atlanta, Georgia )
Sun., Apr. 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm EDT
We as people now have a second chance at life. I lost someone so dear to me from this deadly disease & I've been praying for a miracle. God does answer prayers! :-)
Comment by: Peters Nyamkyume
Fri., Apr. 25, 2014 at 2:53 am EDT
the world's medical experts should be appreciated 4 their tirless efforts in curbin dis enemy of life(HIV/Aids),still,let dem do more.
Comment by: chinenye Emezieezeh
Thu., Apr. 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm EDT
Human immune virus is the fear among many faces today including Nigeria but the funny thing there is that those infected are seriously giving it out without mercy God we need ur help!
Comment by: Khosi Mdluli
Wed., Feb. 19, 2014 at 8:42 am EST
It just sucks how the process of finding a cure is going slow but we claim to have powerful specialist n scientists not to mention the money the government is spending on educating doctors but stil more and more people keep on dying n they are doing nothing about that..mxm
Comment by: Lindiwe Tshamlambo
Wed., Feb. 19, 2014 at 8:29 am EST
I would like to know if there wil ever be a cure in the near future.like In 2020 because people keep on dying of this deseas and it seems like there is nothing that is done..people who are working on finding a cure for HIV are not infected by the virus that is why they are taking their time,if they were infected the process would have been faster.to be honest whats taking time cos u know what virus u are working on top of but its just hard to come out with a cure..it just sad that you are waiting for it to kil more people in order for u to work faster..its irritating
Comment by: John Connor
(Southern NJ )
Tue., Jan. 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm EST
They left out Magic Johnson, several Hollywood stars, and half of Congress. Everyone knows "the cure" exists OF YOUR RICH ENOUGH!
Comment by: Reeky Rickardo
Sat., Dec. 21, 2013 at 12:22 am EST
I reasoned such a praxis possible in 1996. I worked out the odds, considered the mechanics of establishing donor banks--fetal stem cell research was a hot topic back then; geneticists were busy cloning sheep, making glow-in-the-dark tobacco and fluorescent fish--everyone I told about the idea greeted me with skepticism. While technically complex the premise is remarkably simple: change the locks and the bad guys can't get in. Bravo good doctors. Bravo. It's a damn shame that the technical complexity--ie cost--will prevent it from being applied to the teeming masses in impoverished regions like Africa or the bottom 90/100 in the United States.
Comment by: Dan L. Russell
Thu., Dec. 5, 2013 at 1:29 am EST
As long as drug manufacters continue to make huge profits on the backs of those with HIV, There won't be a cure. AS Long as governments view the disease as a way to control over population along with war, and a way to rid the world of those they consider undesirable, there will never be a cure. NOT UNTIL the virus touches someone they love will there be a secret cure or the cure released from this bio-war they invented, but only for the wealthy.
Comment by: Miranda
(New Orleans, LA)
Sun., Dec. 15, 2013 at 8:51 am EST If this ow what you really think, study and work through a university to create a view. It's easy to throw out criticism like yours without ANY proof. These companies are supplying expensive medicines to 3rd world patients free of charge.
Get a clue beyond the standard crap,
Comment by: Jeffrey Beansworth
Sat., May. 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm EDT I'd like to disagree, but considering what's happened with diabetes and the massive business it is to treat, I wouldn't be so sure he's wrong.
Comment by: Zachariah
Fri., Nov. 15, 2013 at 4:48 am EST
I really appreciate those scientist they've really done well in saving the life of the people. But i wish they have found the total solution like a vaccine or pills that will cure it once and for all so that they can distribute it to other country that this deadly deases has taken over Coz its really killing people in my country. But any way good job.
Comment by: chips
Fri., Nov. 15, 2013 at 2:17 am EST
I think we are making the right steps. All efforts should be channeled towards finding a cure and I think enough is not being done in that area. Most Donor Funds are being spend on useless hotel functions and printing of T-Shirts while people are dying. The stem cell approach seems more likely to offer a cure however, a combination if approaches could used as shown in the different scenarios described. If the whole world go all out to find a cure I am sure within reasonable targets (time eg 3 years) we should have a cure!
Comment by: mark
Fri., Oct. 25, 2013 at 10:38 pm EDT
It's obvious you haven,t checked out the small and poor West African country where no less than 28 HIV infected people were sent home completely cured-they were given juiced beets. Do some real research before you print BS for the masses. Only people ever ...right.
Comment by: Schmendrick
Mon., Feb. 17, 2014 at 10:49 am EST Juiced beats cures AIDS? Good to know!
Comment by: sandy
Tue., Jun. 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm EDT Mark, the reason you couldn't NAME this fabled "small and poor West African country", where HIV/AIDS was "completely cured" with "juiced beets", is because it DOESN'T exist!!
(Next time give us the city and country name! The name of the researcher and the facility! Also the year, and names of a medical journal or medical doctors who've verified that "juiced beets" CURED these HIV patients!)
Comment by: Trent Landers
(San Jose, Ca.)
Wed., Oct. 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm EDT
Most people reading this article will view it as a revelation or at least hope in eradicating this devastating disease ( remember heterosexuals, HIV2 IS EASILY TRANSMITTABLE, just ask the men and women in AFRICA and Mediterranean Countries). This virus is ALSO highly mutational, so it COULD turn into a "flu like virus". I have 4 comments to the medical establishment: 1) Why the medical community of front line doctors, researchers, et.al., have not made Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) available to those who would be highly likely to adhere well to taking a pill to prevent infection?2) Why has the medical community NOT pushed for more Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) therapy, as they have commonly used it for newborns to HIV+ women for the last 10 years? 3) Why is blood the only thing tested for HIV viral load when seminal fluid and mucous from the penis, vaginal and anal epidermal walls, respectively, has a much higher concentration of active HIV replication and storage? (4 Why has the medical community and BIG PHARMA NOT developed a anti-microbial or at least an anti-inflammatory intercourse gel from the Tamarind bush, which has demonstrated active anti-inflammatory results to the point that the process of extracting the gel from the seeds of this plant has been patented? Our FDA, NIH and CDC are in collusion with BIG PHARMA to maximize profits and ensure revolving door employment for those in the gov't. agencies mentioned and big and small PHARMA companies who need the lobbying talents of our TAX paid for political representatives and gov't. workers to insure their immoral and excessive profits.
Comment by: Ron
Tue., Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:55 am EDT
Yes, there is a cure--if you can afford it and if you're important enough! Ever wonder why famous movie stars and politicians aren't dying of AIDS??? They have more sex partners in a year than you can count, and don't try telling me they're all using condoms!!
Comment by: Tralfaz D
(San Francisco, CA)
Wed., Aug. 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm EDT
Good news, but then again, never seen so much money spent to cure a disease that is 100% PREVENTABLE. Think about that for a moment.
Comment by: Patti
Mon., Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:02 am EDT
This article is misleading - there have got to be others who have survived, because I know of three personally: My sister and her twin daughters. My sister has been HIV positive for over 35 years. Her twins were born HIV positive, a few weeks later, were tested HIV negative (and are adults today, still HIV negative.
My sister often said that people should study her as her levels were undetectable for many, many years. In fact, she is currently participating in an NIH study in DC.
Unfortunately, her levels have suddenly increased to detectable levels. After being off all medications for at least 10-15 years, she is going back onto some. But, she has survived this disease for many years and, we hope, will continue to do so going forward.
Comment by: Kathryn
(San Jose, California)
Sat., Dec. 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm EST Re-read your comment, that means they were NOT cured.
Comment by: Layla
Thu., Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:15 am EDT She said the twins were negative. Only the mother has numbers increasing..... "re-read" her comment.
Comment by: Lisa
Mon., Dec. 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm EST 35+ years as of 2013?! Just want to point out for anyone reading this that HIV was first clinically observed in 1981. 2013-35 years would be 1978...
Comment by: Roland
(Warwick, Rhode Island )
Tue., May. 12, 2015 at 10:25 pm EDT Many have survived there talking about actual cures u should read article again slowly
Comment by: C.Hall
Sat., Jul. 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm EDT
I'm glad there is some sort of treatment out here for HIV. In the 80's this disease was killing people without any success of hope. Pls. cont. with progress for a cure one day.
Comment by: Rochelle D
Tue., Jun. 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm EDT
So glad they are getting closer to a cure. So many people have lost there lives from this disease and so many love ones could still be here if we had this many years ago. I hope to see in the near future cures for all diseases. I will be remarkable, and a true blessing for all of them and there families.
Comment by: Olivia
Wed., Jun. 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm EDT No. Magic Johnson takes meds and is not cured of HIV. http://www.thebody.com/content/62493/magic-johnson-is-not-cured-of-hiv.html
Comment by: Ron
Tue., Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:53 am EDT If you believe that Magic Johnson is not cured after reading that crap article Olivia posted then you've been kicked in the head by a mule and you need to go see a doctor!!
Comment by: O
Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 at 1:55 am EDT Ask Magic himself. He's been on treatment since 1995. This is public knowledge
Comment by: D
Sat., May. 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm EDT
I can tell you I started on treatment within 30 days of initial infection about ten years ago(we were able to document exactly when it happened) and stayed on it for nearly a year and a half - successfully controlled. However, after about two months off meds, viral load was fairly high and CD4 started dipping below 500. Things didn't look that great, so about 3 months off meds I went back on and have been on ever since.
Comment by: Hope
Wed., Sep. 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm EDT Thank you for sharing. Sorry about your situation and I hope you get better. Hang in there.
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