Baby cured of AIDs

It seems a baby who had AIDs has been cured:

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.

“I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot,” Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi, said in an interview.

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, said Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. She led the investigation that deemed the child “functionally cured,” meaning in long-term remission even if all traces of the virus haven’t been completely eradicated.

If this can be replicated, it would be an amazing breakthrough:

About 300,000 children were born with HIV in 2011, mostly in poor countries where only about 60 percent of infected pregnant women get treatment that can keep them from passing the virus to their babies. In the U.S., such births are very rare because HIV testing and treatment long have been part of prenatal care.

This case also shows that either there is something wrong with these parents or with healthcare in the US or both:

In the Mississippi case, the mother had had no prenatal care when she came to a rural emergency room in advanced labor. A rapid test detected HIV. In such cases, doctors typically give the newborn low-dose medication in hopes of preventing HIV from taking root. But the small hospital didn’t have the proper liquid kind, and sent the infant to Gay’s medical center. She gave the baby higher treatment-level doses.

The child responded well through age 18 months, when the family temporarily quit returning and stopped treatment, researchers said. When they returned several months later, remarkably, Gay’s standard tests detected no virus in the child’s blood.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shanna Carson
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 16:26:35

    Skeptics said that this story of the cure child is not conclusive. They say that the baby – although at high risk for contracting the virus from her mother – was not actually infected. This story shows no actual proof that the baby girl was indeed born with HIV. On the other hand it mentions that the child, being at high risk of infection, was placed on treatment even before laboratory investigations had been done. That being said, doctors agree that the child was most likely infected, so it’s still a story of hope 🙂

    Reply

    • fredtopeka
      Mar 05, 2013 @ 16:38:37

      That’s why there should be further investigation of this and some testing to see if this is real.If it is, it would be a big help in the third world (this really doesn’t come much in the US or other advanced countries–there are already ways to prevent the transmission of AIDs to the baby)

      Reply

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