Researchers at Johns Hopkins announced that a toddler in Mississippi has become the first child to be “functionally cured” of HIV.
The girl was born in Mississippi to an HIV positive mother who had no prenatal care.
Within thirty hours of her birth, Doctor Hannah gay, a pediatric HIV specialist, gave the infant relatively high doses of three anti-viral drugs.
“I drew tests just as they started those drugs, and two different types of tests showed me within the next couple of days that the baby was already infected,” Hannah Gay, MD, Mississippi Medical Center.
The baby girl remained on the drug regimen for about 15-months.
After that… the mother stopped bringing the child to see doctors and admits she stopped giving the drugs to her baby for 8-10 months.
Recently… the mother brought her baby girl back to see Dr. Gay… and results from a new test show no signs of HIV in the now two year old girl.
“The mom admitted that she had not been giving the medicine for the past several months, and I fully expected the baby’s viral load to have gone back up. But when we drew the test, we got back still an undetectable viral load,” Gay says.
Researchers say the child is functionally cured.
That means the presence of the virus is so small clinical tests cannot detect it in the blood.
On Sunday, researchers from Johns Hopkins announced that early intervention was key to the outcome.
And they believe this will help them cure other HIV infected babies in the future.
“This has very important implication for pediatric HIV infection and the ability to achieve cure, so we think we should be able to replicate this,” Deborah Persaud, MD., Johns Hopkins
This is not the first documented case of an HIV cure.
In 2007, Timothy Brown – an HIV positive man battling leukemia was cured of both after he received a bone marrow transplant.