March 9, 2020

"This is a unique position to be in, a unique and very humbling position. I want to be an ambassador of hope."

Said Adam Castillejo, quoted in "The ‘London Patient,’ Cured of H.I.V., Reveals His Identity" (DNYUZ).
Last March, scientists announced that Mr. Castillejo, then identified only as the “London Patient,” had been cured of H.I.V. after receiving a bone-marrow transplant for his lymphoma. The donor carried a mutation that impeded the ability of H.I.V. to enter cells, so the transplant essentially replaced Mr. Castillejo’s immune system with one resistant to the virus. The approach, though effective in his case, was intended to cure his cancer and is not a practical option for the widespread curing of H.I.V. because of the risks involved.

13 comments:

Drago said...

As Instapundit would say: This is the Future I was promised. More please.

hstad said...

I'm happy for this individual! But here are some facts which are mind boggling:

US Government spend $34.8 billion on HIV in 2019.
US Government spend $190 billion on HIV from 2013 - 2019

Spending on HIV Worldwide totaled 'Half - Trillion Dollars ($560 b.) from 2000 - 2015.

This is a lot of money and resources dedicated to a disease which effects few people and is preventable in over 60% of the people who contract the disease.

Roger Sweeny said...

Is that the same mutation that the guy in China genetically engineered into two babies? As I recall, all respectable opinion said he was an awful person.

JAORE said...

"... not a practical option for the widespread curing of H.I.V. because of the risks involved."

Sure. But it might, just might illuminate a pathway to a cure with gene therapy.

Modern medicine is speeding ahead.

Fernandistein said...

The donor carried a mutation that impeded the ability of H.I.V. to enter cells

So the donor was probably N. European.

"The distribution of CCR5-Δ32 varies geographically, with the frequency of the allele being high in Northern Europe and decreasing towards the south. The frequency of the CCR5-Δ32 allele in European Caucasians is 5–15% whereas it is absent in Africans and East Asians."

Tom T. said...

Now don't let the guy die of coronavirus.

Char Char Binks said...

"So the donor was probably N. European."

I thought N. Europeans only had bad, inbred, recessive genes. The donor was probably a descendant of Henrietta Lacks -- she deserves a posthumous Nobel!

Larry J said...

Back in the 1980s, a diagnosis of being HIV positive was a death sentence. It might take several years, but HIV would cause full blown AIDS followed by death. Today, AIDS is pretty much a chronic but manageable condition, as is Type I diabetes. Bone marrow transplants are very serious and dangerous medical procedures. I watched a show yesterday about a 5 year old boy who had a genetic condition where his skin kept falling off. It affects about 1 out of every million people, He was given a bone marrow transplant from a younger brother who didn't have the condition. The doctors treating him said that with a bone marrow transplant, they end up taking the patient very close to death. Some do die as a result of the procedure. In the case of this boy, he appears to be improving dramatically but it's too soon to tell. In the case of this boy, the transplant was his only hope at surviving. That doesn't appear to be the case with AIDS.

madAsHell said...

We cured the patient of HIV right before he died lymphoma!!

Sounds like the punch-line of a joke I learned on the kindergarten playground.

Rosalyn C. said...

The majority of HIV cases are in Africa, second major area is Asia, and worldwide the number of cases is about 39 million. This is not limited to the gay population.

Michael K said...

Identical twins were the first kidney transplant cases.

About as useful for medical science as this guy.

The Vault Dweller said...

Well now we know it can be done. A cure is infinitely better than, what some people try to do and convince people at large that being HIV+ is no big deal.

The Vault Dweller said...

And to be clear I'm not saying society should ostracize people who are HIV+. What I strongly dislike seeing is what recently happened in California where they changed their laws and lowered it from a felony to a misdemeanor to knowingly infect someone with HIV.