Science & Technology
'London patient' is second to be cured of HIV
By T.K. Randall
March 12, 2020 · 1 comment
Doctors have confirmed that the patient has been cured. Image Credit: US Navy
A second man with HIV has reportedly been completely cured having shown no sign of infection for 3 years.
In surprisingly positive medical news in light of the current coronavirus pandemic, doctors have revealed that a 40-year-old man has become the second ever person to be cured of HIV (or human immunodeficiency virus) after being diagnosed with it back in 2003.
The man - now identified as Adam Castillejo from Venezuela - had been known as the 'London patient' when it was previously reported that he had shown no sign of the disease for 18 months.
Now at last it has been confirmed that he really does appear to have been cured.
The key to his recovery lay in a bone marrow transplant he had undergone in 2016 to treat blood cancer. The stem cells he received came from donors with a very rare genetic mutation which prevents HIV from taking hold.
Incredibly, the procedure, which had been described as a 'last resort', actually worked.
Scientists are now considering the possibility of offering stem cell treatments to other HIV sufferers, however there are risks and not everyone who receives the stem cells will necessarily be cured.
"You'd have to weigh up the fact that there's a 10% mortality rate from doing a stem-cell transplant against what the risk of death would be if we did nothing," said lead study author Ravindra Gupta.
At the very least, the news offers a glimmer of hope for those living with the condition.
Source: Science Alert
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