According to AP, On sunday scientists announced that a baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured. They indicated that the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.
HIV/AIDs 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.
A doctor gave this baby faster and stronger treatment than is usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. That 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.
In an interview, Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi said: “I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot.”
Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, who led the investigation said: “That fast action apparently knocked out HIV in 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.”
The next step for Dr. Persaud and her team is to plan a study to try to prove that, with more aggressive treatment of other high-risk babies. “Maybe we’ll be able to block this reservoir seeding.”