Researchers have claimed that a second patient has been cured of HIV after undergoing stem cell transplant treatment. Ravindra Gupta, the lead author of the study published in The Lancet HIV, said that no trace of infection was found after the patient stopped traditional treatment.
Last year, the so-called “London Patient” grabbed media attention when researchers at the University of Cambridge reported that no trace of the AIDS-causing virus was found in his blood for 18 months. Gupta, an Indian-origin professor and researcher, said that the new results were even more remarkable demonstrating the patient was cured.
Researchers have cautioned that the stemcell transplant can not be considered as a generalised cure for HIV since Castillejo’s treatment was a “last resort” because his blood cancer would likely have killed him. Professor Gupta, an HIV biologist, has been the leading researcher who found out that his patient was cured of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The professor conducted the study on Adam Castillejo, the ‘London Patient’ who revealed his identity this week, to demonstrate the world’s second HIV cure by stem cell transplantation.
Gupta is member of Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) Faculty and was formerly Professor in University College London’s (UCL) Division of Infection & Immunity. Currently, Gupta is also a professor of Clinical Microbiology and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science at the University of Cambridge. According to UCL, Professor Gupta completed his specialist medical training in infectious diseases and a Masters in International Public Health.
The biologist initially trained as a clinical infectious diseases physician and went on to do a PhD at UCL, where he examined the epidemiology and virology of HIV drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa. Gupta’s work has mostly been focussed on antiviral therapy for the treatment of HIV and has led a number of studies aimed at addressing the global emerging threat of drug-resistant HIV.
(With PTI inputs)