We can all use a little good virus-related news right now since we're all peering out our windows curtains, hoping to rejoin the outside world, when coronavirus pops up like Jason Voorhees to remind us that out there lies death. Nearly 3 years ago, a guy named Adam Castillejo from London was given an experimental HIV treatment. And now a new report from the medical journal The Lancet HIV reveals that Adam is currently 100% HIV free.
Castillejo wasn't cured by the anti-retroviral therapy he was on. He was cured by a stem cell treatment he received for cancer, which he also had. The stem cells he received from a donor carried a mutation called CCR5-delta 32 that gave him his HIV resistance. This might be the best Buy One, Get One Free deal in recorded human history.
Castillejo is now the second person to have been cured of HIV with stem cell treatments. The first was a man whose name we now know as Timothy Brown, but was formally known as his enigmatic pseudonym "the Berlin patient". Castillejo got a cool codename, too. He was [dramatic music, big booming drums, crescendo!] "the London patient". The guy gets a cancer and HIV treatment in one shot and a cool code name that will absolutely be the title of the book, which will be adapted into a movie where the brown-skinned Castillejo will be played by Eddie Redmayne. It won't win any Oscars, but Redmayne will commend Castillejo for his bravery during a red carpet interview, which ain't nothing.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!