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Baby with HIV 'cured'?

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by maryb, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Thought this may be of interest - wonder which drugs were used?

    A baby born with the virus that causes Aids appears to have been cured, scientists have announced.

    Specialists at a major Aids meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, described the case of a child from Mississippi who is now two and a half and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.

    There is no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus's genetic material still lingering.

    This is only the world's second reported cure. Scientists believe the findings could be used to treat the many cases of babies born with virus in the developing world, where HIV testing is not a standard part of prenatal care.

    The case could be a major breakthrough in treating the many children born with the virus in the developing world

    HIV testing and treatment is usually given to mothers prior to giving birth in the US, but the mother had received no prenatal care in the rural part of America in which she lived.

    The mother only discovered she had the virus while in labour. Usually doctors give the newborn low doses of medication to prevent HIV from taking root, but the rural hospital did not have the liquid available.

    Instead this baby was given a cocktail of three drugs already used to treat HIV within 30 hours of its birth.

    "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.

    The baby is now "functionally cured" meaning it is in long-term remission even though there is no guarantee all traces of the virus have disappeared.

    Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta: "This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants"You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we've seen," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press.

    Great news for the baby girl cured of her HIV, but it should be noted that this breakthrough applies to children of carriers, not yet a cure

    However doctors were keen to stress that prevention was better than cure, and no cure was guaranteed.

    "We can't promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy," Gay said.

    The mother's HIV is being controlled with medication and she is "quite excited for her child," Gay added.

    There has only been one other case of a reported cure, when a patient was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who had a genetic resistance to the virus.

    Two million people die of Aids every year. HIV is estimated to have infected 33 million people worldwide.

     
  2. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    What may be relevant to us (or more likely, future potential victims of ME) is that the doctors stopped the spread of the disease with prompt and aggressive treatments. The result is that there are not many pockets of infection that keep reinfecting other tissues.

    I wonder if a large part of our problem is that we have "normal" infections in large amounts of tissue -- maybe because our immune systems never got them fully under control in the way most peoples' do. So we're always fighting the infections as many pockets of infected tissue continue to infect new tissue. Knock it down in some tissues and some other pocket in a place harder to get at (the brain?) keeps the infection going.

    This baby's situation may lead the way to the quick and aggressive treatment we may have needed instead of the "wait and see" response most PWME got.
     
    Valentijn and heapsreal like this.

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