Doctors cure HIV in child
For 30 years, since the first diagnosis of HIV and AIDS, doctors have been trying to find a cure for the disease that remains deadly in many undeveloped countries. Now, with doctors from the University of Mississippi Medical Center reporting that they apparently have cured a baby of HIV, researchers are hopeful that a big step has been taken towards that goal.
A little over two years ago, a child was born HIV-positive to an HIV-positive mother. Soon after birth, the child was put on a higher-than usual regimen of standard antiretroviral medication. The baby was given the drugs until the age of 18 months, when her pediatrician lost track of the child’s mother. When the mother and child re-emerged five months later, tests showed that the baby no longer had any signs of HIV, even when the most sensitive tests were done on her.
This is only the second documented case of an HIV cure, and the first of a child born with the disease. (The first involved a man with HIV who was also diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a stem cell transplant, with the cells coming from an individual with a genetic mutation leading to HIV immunity.)
The case is seen as a potential breakthrough for the HIV community, with the hope that it will provide a model for eradicating the disease is children born with it.