U.S. Baby 'Cured' Of HIV Through Aggressive Early Treatment

Category: Technology / Mar 04, 2013 10:53AM EDT
A baby girl in Mississipi has brought hope to the war on AIDS after she was born with HIV but is now cured following groundbreaking early treatment with standard HIV drugs. The baby became infected by her mother who was diagnosed as HIV positive after going into labor. The child's story 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. Researchers hope the results could change the way high-risk babies are treated and possibly lead to a cure for children with HIV. "At last follow up we've been unable to detect replication-competent virus at 10 months off of anti-retroviral therapy. And the child remains off of anti-retroviral therapy and is doing well," 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. When the baby girl was born in July 2010 her mother had not received any prenatal care, so the doctors knew she was at high risk of infection. Doctors put the infant on a cocktail of three HIV-fighting drugs - zidovudine (also known as AZT), lamivudine, and nevirapine - when she was just 30 hours old. Researchers believe use of the more aggressive antiretroviral treatment when the child was just days old likely resulted in her cure. Video Source: Reuters