are seers limited series it looks at the figures who are trying to change our way of life.
Ravindra Gupta has been studying drug-resistant HIV for more than a decade when she first met Adam Castillejo, better known as the “London Patient”, the second person in the world to be cured of HIV. Gupta, who consists of Ravi, was a professor at University College London. Castillejo had HIV-positive and recurrent lymphoma, and after a previous transplant, he used Mr.’s healthy stem cells. Castilejo’s own body stopped working.
Based on the work of German hematologist Gero Hutter and others, the first person to be diagnosed with HIV was Timothy Ray Brown, known as the “Berlin Patient.” Gupta and colleagues have suggested the use of donor stem cells, which have a rare genetic mutation, to prevent some people from becoming infected with HIV. Castillejo agreed and had his transplant in 2016. Seventeen months later, Dr. Mr. Gupta and his team Castillejo refused antiretroviral drugs that kept him HIV-positive. In 2019, three years after the transplant, Dr. Gupta published the results in the journal Nature and confirmed the gentleman. Castillejo recovered from HIV
This news alarmed the world of science and revived the search for a cure. Dr. Gupta was hired as a professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge and set up a Gupta laboratory on the school’s biomedical campus to continue his research.
A few months later, when the coronavirus pandemic intensified, people were shut down, and medical systems collapsed, he was prosecuted.
“I have never had respiratory viruses. I didn’t think we had the skills or experience to be useful. ” Gupta said recently. However, he added, “The clinical interface of my work dragged me to work on SARS. Here in March, the situation worsened and everything closed. One of the most pressing needs was rapid testing.”
His team soon turned around and published the first studies that confirmed rapid coronavirus and antibody tests using methods that had been refined during the HIV study. Over the past two and a half years, the Gupta Laboratory has conducted advanced research describing how new variants have emerged, providing initial evidence that vaccinated people may develop Covid infection.
In his laboratory in Cambridge, he discussed the remarkable strides made by scientists over the past three years, as well as the consequences of declining public confidence in scientific knowledge.
This interview has been shortened and edited.
How have previous AIDS / HIV studies affected the response to the coronavirus?
Response to SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated, mainly due to the development of HIV. Great strides have been made in the targeted development of drugs and viruses, and much of this technology has gained respect for HIV.
What are the similarities between these two pandemics?
Both caused great panic, with SARS-CoV-2 more prevalent than HIV – for good reason, it is respiratory. Some people are more vulnerable than others and socio-economics are certainly important. Also, in this era of vaccines, the rich and the poor, the global north and the global south – all of this inequality is gone.
Has this global emergency improved your ability to work with colleagues in a variety of disciplines?
This, of course, galvanized many interactions that we did not make. We became interested in immunology and did the most advanced work with our colleagues downstairs and in different parts of the building. We began using stem cells to make artificial lungs for experiments. All this happened as a result of the state of emergency. People we never talk to, ideas we never have. So it was very interesting scientifically.
Does fatigue explain the public’s reaction to Covid?
Yes, I think so. In my opinion, the intensity caused the emotional energy to burn out. Of course, in 20 years there has been progress in the fight against HIV. It was very fast for Covid. And without vaccines and mRNA technology, we would be in a much darker place.
As a society, we see a decline in trust in institutions, but there are very serious consequences in your environment, for example, for people who refuse to be vaccinated. Has this affected the way you think scientists and medical institutions should communicate with the public?
I think there is a lack of trust between the public and the people who provide the information. This is partly due to the misinformation of the public. I think the actual conversation was very good at the beginning – you received open messages and I think it was very good. Public health reports have become more complicated because no one wants to wear a mask.
For example, after vaccination, people thought that they would be masked. We published an article about new infections in the journal Nature, and the following week the CDC called our case a reason to ridicule even the vaccine. It sounds normal now, but it made people crazy then. However, this was correct because your responses may slow down after a few months, and many people who have been vaccinated with two doses may end up with a second infection. Thus, everything led to chaos due to lack of knowledge or ignorance of nuances. But one thing we have to deal with now is that communication requires nuances that even scientists cannot understand. So it is almost impossible to expect the public to understand this. Thus, we are at the crossroads of how to deliver complex messages.
If we can’t persuade the majority of the population to be vaccinated, will it have long-term consequences?
Circulation could rise in places like China, where the population was relatively simple when it came to vaccines, and vaccines were not necessarily the best. If people do not help in time, we may reach a time when this has become another major health problem. I know in advance that in a few years we will be in trouble again. The worrying thing is that we are giving up a lot of things that we have developed to deal with it.