A 40-year-old Londoner is believed to have become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV. Thirty months after stopping antiretroviral treatment, Adam Castellio was free of the virus.
Gastric cell therapy for cancer has cured HIV, according to a study in the medical journal The Lancet.
The first person to be cured of HIV was Timothy Brown, originally known as ‘Berlin patient.
Castillejo stem cell donors have a rare gene that protects them from HIV.
Castillejo, now known in the medical community as the ‘London patient’, has no active HIV viral load in his blood, semen, or tissue. Just over a year ago, He was declared free of the virus.
According to scientists, these stem cells appear to prevent the virus from multiplying in the body, replacing the patient’s immune cells with that of the donors.
Tests on Castelio show that 99% of the immune system has been replaced by that of the donors.
Lead researcher Professor Ravindra Kumar Gupta, of the University of Cambridge, said:
This represents HIV cure with almost certainty. We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission. Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin patient, can be replicated.
However, because “high-risk” stem cell therapy is aggressive, it is mainly used to treat cancer, not HIV.
Existing antiretroviral drugs (ARV) are very effective in helping people living with HIV live longer and healthier lives.
Professor Gupta said the treatment is “only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening hematological malignancies”.
Also, there is no guarantee that two patients will still be infected with Cestiella or Brown HIV because they still have the virus in their bodies.
Because both patients still have remnants of the virus in their bodies, there is no guarantee that Castellio or Brown will never return with HIV.
Read the original article on TheGuardian.