Scientist announced a baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2 1/2 and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.
There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, but sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’ genetic material still lingering.
This would mark as only the world’s second reported cure.
The Huffington Post reports:
Specialists say Sunday’s announcement, at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, offers promising clues for efforts to eliminate HIV infection in children, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus.
“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.
A doctor gave the baby faster and stronger treatment than usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. This was before tests confirmed the infant was infected and not just at risk from a mother whose HIV wasn’t diagnosed until she was in labor.
That fast action apparently knocked the HIV right of the baby’s blood before it could form hideouts in the body. Those so-called reservoirs of dormant cells usually rapidly reinfect anyone who stops medication, said Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.