A baby girl who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, US researchers have said, in a potentially groundbreaking case that could help eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims.
Specialists made the announcement on Sunday at a major AIDS meeting in the US city of Atlanta.
“This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants,” said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who presented the findings. Read more below.
The baby girl was born in a rural hospital in the state of Mississippi and her mother had just tested positive for HIV infection.
A team of doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre in Jackson then put the infant on a cocktail of three standard HIV-fighting drugs when she was just 30 hours old.
That fast action apparently knocked out the HIV in the baby’s blood before it could form reservoirs in the body.
The new findings could be especially critical for AIDS-plagued African countries where many babies are born with the virus, researchers said.
“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, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.