Health News of Monday, 4 March 2013
A baby girl in Mississipp in the US who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard HIV drugs, US researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially groundbreaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims.
The child’s story, which includes a 10-month treatment hiatus, is the first account of an infant achieving a so-called functional cure, a rare event in which a person achieves remission without the need for drugs, and standard blood tests show no signs that the virus is making copies of itself.
More testing needs to be done to see whether the treatment would have the same effect on other children, but the results could change the way high-risk babies are treated and possibly lead to a cure for children with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants," said Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who presented the findings at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.