Only one person had done it before him. This disease, which affects millions, is considered incurable … although sometimes it isn’t. Adam Castillejo is a Venezuelan who lives in London. And it is the second patient to be cured of HIV.
The London patient
It is called that London patient. It had been virus-free for about 30 months. This confirms that the antiretroviral treatment was successful. He has lived with HIV since 2003. In 2012 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This type of cancer affects the lymphatic system, which is involved in the immune response.
In 2016, Castillejo underwent a stem cell transplant. A genetic mutation known as CCR5-Delta 32 was used. This made it resistant to HIV: it prevented the virus from entering the disease’s target cells, the CD4 T lymphocytes. A year and a half later, the doctors decided to stop the antiretroviral treatment. In March 2019, the man was seen as the second long-term HIV-free patient. The first was that berlin patiently, American Timothy Ray Brown.
To date, about 99% of the man’s immune cells have been replaced by those of the donor. The virus remains undetectable 30 months after the end of treatment. The virus usually resolves within the first four weeks.
“The berlin patiently It wasn’t an anomaly. It was really treatment that eliminated HIV in these two people, ”says Ravindra Gupta. He is the author of the study and works at University College London. The Results the study was published in the medical journal The Lancet. The patient confessed that he wanted to be a “messenger of hope” for all people living with HIV.
«I don’t want people to think: Oh, you have been chosen. No, it just happened. I was in the right place, probably at the right time when it happened, ”he explained.
Around 38 million people worldwide live with HIV. Only 62% of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. Nearly 1 million people die each year from diseases related to the virus.