«I want to be an ambassador of hope«
GAYLES.TV.- Until today it was known by the scientific community as «the london patient«, The second person in the world to be cured of HIV. Adam Castillejo He is 40 years old and lives in the East End from the capital of United Kingdomor. After revealing his identity, he has said that he wants to be «ambassador of hope«.
Castillejo has been HIV positive since 2003. At that time he said that the diagnosis was «scary and traumatic«. Back then, the treatment of HIV it was not that advanced and the public still saw the virus as a 'death warrant«. Now, of course, those who they can access treatment generally they can live healthy in the long term. And, if the treatment is effective, the amount of virus in the body falls so low that it is impossible for them to transmit it to others.
In 2011, cancer was detected: a stage 4 lymphoma. Castillejo He thought it was the end. He underwent years of hard chemotherapy that was more difficult due to his state of HIV. And in 2015, doctors gave him less than a year of life. He endured a decade of strenuous treatments and moments of despair.
Last March, scientists announced that the man identified as the 'london patient»Had been cured of HIV after receiving a bone marrow transplant for your lymphoma. The donor carried a mutation that impeded the ability of the HIV to enter the cells, so the transplant essentially replaced the patient's immune system with a virus resistant one. The approach, although effective in his case, was intended to cure his cancer and is not a practical option for the generalized cure of HIV Due to the risks involved. But it has aroused great interest from researchers.
The one of Adam Castillejo it is the second case in the whole world in which a person is cured of HIV.
Photography: Andrew Testa (The New York Times)