WATCH: UK-based chef named as second man to be cured of HIV
London - A former chef from London has become the second man in the world to be cured of HIV.
Doctors said Adam Castillejo, 40, who underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016, is clear of HIV 30 months after he stopped taking antiviral treatments.
The successful transplant for Castillejo – dubbed the "London patient" – came after a man called the "Berlin patient" was declared cured in 2011.
Experts warn the transplant is very risky and can only be carried out as a last resort for people who are extremely ill. Venezuelan-born Castillejo, who has lived in London for nearly 20 years, was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and developed advanced Hodgkin lymphoma in 2012.
In 2016, he received stem cells from a donor carrying a genetic mutation in the HIV receptor CCR5, which hinders the virus from entering human cells.
Earlier this week Castillejo revealed his identity with an interview in the New York Times, saying: "This is a unique position to be in – a unique and very humbling position. I want to be an ambassador of hope."
Cambridge University scientists, writing in The Lancet HIV journal, declared him free of HIV.
The university’s Professor Ravindra Kumar Gupta said: "It is important to note this curative treatment is high-risk and only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening haematological malignancies."
American Timothy Ray Brown, now 54, became the first person to be cured of HIV/AIDS in 2011. He was dubbed "The Berlin Patient" because he lived in the city at the time - and was treated there.Daily Mail