Toddler Cured of HIV - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Toddler Cured of HIV

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MISSISSIPPI (WLNS) - Experts say a Mississippi baby born to an HIV positive mother has been cured of HIV.

The baby wasn't diagnosed until just before delivery and was given aggressive treatment at just 30 hours old. At one month, she showed improvement and by age two, she seemed to be "functionally cured." That means the virus is so small, clinical tests cannot detect it in the blood.

"I think that the unique part of this was that the child got three drug treatments instead of one single drug treatment," said Daniel H. Havlichek, Jr. M.D. Chief, Division of Infectious Disease at MSU.

So what does this mean in the fight against HIV? Dr. Havlichek says, "you'd have to take this to the field probably in higher transmission countries and really screen those babies and probably compare what would be the standard treatment to the more aggressive treatment."

In the United States, where treatments and interventions are in place for HIV positive mothers, the risk of transmission is down to less than 1 percent.

"This is a sort of a change of a paradigm. We're going to have to start looking at the relative risk versus the benefit of doing it this way. It doesn't often happen in this country. However, in the developing world, where thousands of babies a day are born with HIV infection, this could turn out to be considerably applicable. That remains to be determined, again to underscore that this is just a single case," said Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The only other documented case of an HIV cure was back in 2007 when Timothy Brown, whose come to be known as the "Berlin Patient," underwent a bone marrow transplant that cured both his leukemia and HIV.

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