Groundbreaking news has just come out of the medical field that could change the way HIV and AIDS impact the world. For the first time, a child born with HIV has reportedly been successfully cured.
The baby girl tested positive for HIV within 30 hours of birth, which means she was infected in utero, according to HIV specialists. Pediatric infectious disease specialists at the University of Mississippi began treating her right away, giving her a dose of antivirals only 31 hours after birth. This is significantly faster than when most infants born with HIV get treated, which researchers believe is one of the most important factors.
The child was also given higher than normal doses of three powerful HIV drugs, as opposed to the smaller doses typically given in this situation. At 18 months she stopped taking antivirals, and at 23 months there was no virus found in her blood. This makes the infant the first child and second person in the world to have been cured from HIV in the 30+ years the virus has been recognized.
The successful treatment was announced at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta, GA.
With an estimated 330,000 children born with HIV every year, this could prove to be a life-changing method of reducing HIV transmission to future generations. It is also an excellent step in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS in adults, something that has been at the forefront of medicine for many years. Fantastic news, indeed.
Image: Wikimedia Commons. HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte.