Baby has been off medication for a year with no signs of infection
A US baby girl born with HIV appears to have been ‘cured’ after undergoing treatment with standard drug therapy within only hours of her birth.
Doctors say the child, from Mississippi, has been off medication for almost a year and has no signs of infection, suggesting swift treatment could wipe out the virus before it forms ‘hideouts’ in the body.
The findings were presented by Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She said: ‘This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants.’
The child was given a cocktail of drugs known as antiretroviral therapy, which is used to treat HIV infection in infants, and was monitored for 18 months.
Dr Rowena Johnston, of the Foundation for Aids Research, said: ‘I actually do believe this is very exciting. This certainly is the first documented case that we can truly believe from all the testing that has been done.
‘Many doctors in six different laboratories all applied different, very sophisticated tests trying to find HIV in this infant and no body was able to find any.
‘And so we really can quite confidently conclude at this point that the child does very much appear to be cured.’
However, a spokesperson for the HIV/Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said: ‘This is interesting, but the patient will need careful ongoing follow-up for us to understand the long-term implications for her and any potential for other babies born with HIV.’