For the second time in history, a patient suffering from HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, has been cured of the infection, doctors said Tuesday.
In a study published in medical journal The Lancet HIV, medical researchers from the University of Cambridge said no trace of the virus had been found in the patient nearly two and a half years after he underwent stem-cell transplantation treatment.
The long-term data comes after the researchers had initially reported no trace of HIV after 18 months.
The BBC reports that the donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV.
In 2011, Timothy Brown, the “Berlin Patient” became the first person reported as cured of HIV, three and half years after having similar treatment.
“The London patient has been in HIV-1 remission for 30 months with no detectable replication-competent virus in blood, CSF [cerebrospinal fluid], intestinal tissue, or lymphoid tissue,” the researchers concluded in their findings, meaning no active virus could be detected. “We propose that these findings represent HIV-1 cure.”
At the same time, the researchers cautioned that the findings did not represent a generalized cure for HIV, which causes nearly 1 million deaths per year. They also noted that the stem-cell treatment had been administered to address a separate illness.