This is a London man who was living with HIV before he received an experimental stem cell transplant. He is the second person to be free of the virus after Timothy Ray Brown, who was declared free from HIV in 2008, after going through a marrow bone transplant.
So far, it seems that doctors have strong evidence to believe that they have cured another patient of HIV, making it the second such case documented.
Adam Castillejo Is Now the Second Person Cured of HIV
Nearly four years ago, a man known as the London patient, was given a bone marrow transplant that was meant to treat his blood cancer, known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The transplant was sourced from a donor with a rare gene mutation that makes people almost impervious to HIV-1 infection. The idea was that the transplant would help treat both the man’s cancer and HIV condition by rebooting his immune system and transferring the donor’s resistance to HIV.
Doctors Used a New Marrow Bone Transplant Treatment
The genetic mutation responsible for making people resistant to HIV is in the gene CCR5, which makes a certain protein that the virus needs to enter cells. The mutation stops CCR5 from making that protein and renders the virus unable to infect the cells.
Last March, the doctors in charge of the London patient reported no detectable traces of HIV in the system of the man for the eighteen months since he stopped using the antiretroviral medication. Usually, the virus would start proliferating again just a few weeks after the standard antiretroviral treatment is stopped. Even so, the doctors warned that it was still early to declare the patient cured. Now, they are much more confident about that possibility. Recently, the London patient even revealed his identity to be that of the 40-year-old Adam Castillejo.