According to recent reports, a baby that was born with the AIDS virus two years ago in Mississippi has been cured of the infection.
The baby was put on antiretroviral therapy within hours of birth. Typically, infants are not started on drugs until at least six weeks after birth when infection is certain. Researchers are not sure if the cure is complete and permanent, or partial and long-lasting; however this provides hope for the 300,000 babies who are born with the infection each year worldwide. The baby was treated within thirty hours of birth before tests even confirmed that the infant was infected.
The baby has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. Scientists announced that this offers clues for efforts in eliminating the virus in children, especially those in plagued African countries. The announcement was made at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta.
There are hopes that this can help prevent babies from being born with HIV.
There has only been one other person cured from the AIDS virus in 2007. This individual underwent a bone marrow transplant from a donor who is naturally resistant to HIV. This is a very rare and special case. Since the transplant that took place five years ago, Timothy Ray Brown has not needed HIV medications.
The researchers hid any personal details about the case. The infant’s sex was even concealed. Mother to child transmission is extremely rare in the United States, accounting for only 200 cases per year, but in this case the mother did not know she was HIV positive until a time that was too close to delivery. After repeatedly being considered HIV positive, 29 days after birth the baby had no detectable virus, which is the goal of treatment.
Last Updated: 3/4/13; 3:30PM EST