My improbable journey to a functional HIV cure, led by Professor Ravindra Gupta, commenced during a very tempestuous period of my life. But when I was first introduced to Gupta, I was pleasantly surprised. He was thoughtful and compassionate, and his accomplishments—now including oversight of the stem-cell treatments I received from a donor with a rare gene mutation, which led to my remission—clearly earned him respect and admiration from his colleagues in the HIV research community. Now he has mine, as well.
Through the years, our partnership has developed and strengthened as Gupta has shared his knowledge and his enthusiasm to find a feasible cure for everyone. He has championed me and empowered me to become an ambassador of hope to millions of people living with HIV around the world.
In recognition of his work, last year the University of Cambridge appointed him professor of clinical microbiology at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease. I’m so fortunate and humbled to know him, and to see how his dedication can conquer this disease.
Castillejo is known as the London Patient, the second person ever to be functionally cured of HIV