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Child has controlled HIV without antiretroviral drugs

me/cfs 27931

Science said:
What can science learn from a child who has controlled HIV without drugs for more than 8 years?

An HIV-infected child in South Africa who is controlling the virus without antiretroviral (ARV) drugs has reinvigorated the push to find ways to allow people to control the virus for prolonged periods without treatment.

The child, whose gender hasn't been revealed to help protect anonymity, was born to an HIV-infected mother and was given ARVs starting at 8 weeks old; the treatment was stopped at 40 weeks as part of a controlled clinical trial. Now, more than 8.5 years later, the virus hasn't rebounded and the child is doing fine, researchers reported here yesterday at an international AIDS conference. That doesn't mean the HIV infection has been cured, they stressed; the child still harbors low levels of the virus, invisible with standard tests but easily detected with ultrasensitive ones.

But the case may offer fresh clues to what makes long-term remission possible.

Science said:
Very few people can control HIV without ARVs. These so-called “elite controllers” typically have genetic factors that predispose their immune systems to create unusually strong responses against HIV, without treatment. ARVs do the job very well, too, but the problem is that HIV can integrate and lie dormant in long-lived immune memory cells, ready to bounce back when therapy stops. To eliminate the virus—a complete cure—researchers have tried to shrink these reservoirs, so far with little progress.