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A Story Of Hope – Baby Cured of HIV

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I call this a long awaited miracle! Although, It’s not quite a cure considering the same drugs currently used by HIV positive patients was simply administered to a newborn. This is definitely a step towards the right direction.

Hang in there people… soon enough the bright light will be seen at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

Read on and share your thoughts…

A baby girl who was infected with HIV by her mother – diagnosed as HIV Positive during Labor- has been CURED. The baby’s mother was unaware that she had the virus. Hence, the baby did not get the required care given to babies at high-risk of inheriting the virus.

“Because of her high risk, Dr Gay put the infant on a cocktail of three HIV-fighting drugs – the typical nevirapine alongside zidovudine (also known as AZT), lamivudine – when she was just 30 hours old.” This put the virus in remission and prevented it from taking root in the baby’s cells.

Now two-years-old, the girl from Mississipi is in remission with blood tests showing no signs that the virus is present. This is known as a ‘functional cure.’

Experts say the groundbreaking development paves the way for other children to be treated before the virus takes hold.

Last night at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, the case was declared a major landmark in the battle to find a cure for the disease.

Study leader Dr Deborah Persaud, of Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre in Baltimore, said the toddler is now free from the potentially fatal disease.

Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health said: ‘You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen.’

He added that the child, which is only the second patient ever recorded to have been ‘cured’ of AIDS, ‘opens up a lot of doors’ for the treatment of other children born with HIV.

Dr Gay added: ‘I just check for the virus and keep praying that it stays gone.’

The mother’s HIV is being controlled with medication and she is ‘quite excited for her child,’ she added.

The only other person considered cured of the AIDS virus underwent a very different – a bone marrow transplant from a special donor who was naturally resistant to HIV. Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco has not needed HIV medications in the five years since that transplant.

The Mississippi case shows ‘there may be different cures for different populations of HIV-infected people,’ said Dr Rowena Johnston, vice president and director of research at amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which helped fund the study.

The fact that the cure was achieved by antiretroviral therapy alone makes it imperative that we learn more about a newborn’s immune system, how it differs from an adult’s and what factors made it possible for the child to be cured,’ she added.

Scientists should also look back at other young children who have been treated, including some reports of possible cures in the late 1990s that were dismissed at the time, said Dr. Steven Deeks of the University of California, San Francisco, who also has seen the findings.

‘This will likely inspire the field, make people more optimistic that this is possible,’ he said.

Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and former Executive Director of UNAIDS, said: This is great news and a proof of concept that curing HIV infection is a possibility – even if much more research will be needed to make a cure a reality for patients.

‘Provision of antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy has proven effective in preventing HIV transmission from mother to child, and this could be the first case in which the virus has been shown to be eliminated within a baby born with HIV infection.

‘In terms of the wider picture, however, it is clear that AIDS will be with us for generations to come. Despite the more widespread availability of antiretroviral drugs, incidence of infection is still on the increase in several parts of the world, and it is vital to co-ordinate efforts at effective prevention as well as treatment.’

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