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Scientists Say Girl Born With HIV Has Been Cured, Call It “A Game-Changer”

hiv t cellAt a conference in Atlanta, researchers from the University of Mississippi Medical Center reported that they had successfully cured a young girl born with HIV.

Pregnant women with HIV are given antiviral drugs which can increase the odds that they deliver a HIV-negative baby. But the mother of the unnamed infant, now 2, didn’t receive any prenatal care.

Normally that would mean a lifetime of  antiviral drugs for the girl, but pediatric infectious-disease specialist Hannah Gay tried something different:

Gay decided to begin treating the child immediately, with the first dose of antivirals given within 31 hours of birth. That’s faster than most infants born with HIV get treated, and specialists think it’s one important factor in the child’s cure.

In addition, Gay gave higher-than-usual, “therapeutic” doses of three powerful HIV drugs rather than the “prophylactic” doses usually given in these circumstances.

Over the months, the baby thrived and standard tests could detect no virus in her blood, which is the normal result from antiviral treatment.

Gay never intended to take her off the medications, but the mother stopped bringing her in for checkups. “I saw her at 18 months, and then after that did not see her for several months,” Gay tells NPR. “And we were unable to locate her for a while.”

Health authorities helped find the girl, whose mother had stopped giving her the medication seven months prior. Amazingly, when the toddler was tested she came back HIV-negative.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, who was called in to help confirm the results, calls this a functional cure—”the control of viral replication and lack of rebound once they come off anti-retroviral medications.”

While there’s a lot of work to still be done before the treatment can be applied to the 330,00o children born HIV-positive every year, the cure is “definitely a game-changer,” says Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Deborah Persaud, who presented the findings at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this weekend. “This case is sort of the inspiration and provides the rationale to really move forward.”

Photo: NIAID

On:           Mar 4, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,
    • Cam

      “”Gay never intended to take her off the medications, but the mother stopped bringing her in for checkups…….Health authorities helped find the girl, whose mother had stopped giving her the medication seven months prior.”

      Just curious, is the child still with the mother. That seems a clear case of endangering the welfare of a child.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones


      whose mother had stopped giving her the medication seven months prior

      What a fucking bitch.


      That seems a clear case of endangering the welfare of a child.

      Agreed. The kid is HIV neg, but guaranteed something else will happen to her while in her mother’s care.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 9:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red Meat

      what? The doctor is actually doctor Gay, I can’t.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JDJase

      @Red Meat: Yeah, I used to laugh at things like that…in 3rd grade

      Mar 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MuscleModelBlog.com

      Although the mother did endanger the child by not giving the baby its medication, perhaps some good will come out of it in the form of progress towards a cure for AIDS.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • miniskull

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Is this possible that the child may be taken away from her mother b/c of her HIV status and her negligence to give her baby the medicine?

      Mar 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Red Meat

      @JDJase: psh I am in 5th grade and we still find it HIGHlarious.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      On its face this sounds like a stupid (and/or very poor and ill-educated) mom who got stupendously lucky, or rather her child did. Let’s hope the luck holds for both.

      Mar 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt

      From yesterday’s Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: “The only remaining question about this baby: whether the child was actually infected with HIV.”

      Mar 5, 2013 at 2:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike

      Not a surprise this would happen when there is no current Pope. Go without the Pope for a month or so and they will be announcing that they have found the cure for cancer and have eliminated world hunger and poverty.

      Mar 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mariakatrina

      Hi, I work in a communication company I want to share my testimony to
      the world, my name is maria Katrina, i am from united kingdom in
      Belfast north Ireland, I was a stripper in a club I got effected with
      HIV due to the nature of my job, In April 15 2013 i was tested
      positive to HIV, This is not design to convince you but its just a
      personal health experience . I never taught doctor Hakim could ever
      get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing herb spell, i have tried almost
      everything but I couldn’t find any solution on my disease, despite all
      these happening to me, i always spend a lot to buy a HIV drugs from
      hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one
      day i was just browsing on the internet when i came across a great
      post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV
      and was healed that very week through the help of this great powerful
      healing spell doctor ,I wonder why he is called the great papa Hakim,
      i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he
      has been doing that is causing all this. so I quickly contacted him,
      and he ask me some few questions and so i did all the things he asked
      me to do,He ask me to buy some herbs and which I did for my cure,only
      to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the
      strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong
      and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i
      went to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor
      said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing
      doctor Hakim gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email
      him now for your own healing too on his email:
      [email protected]

      Jan 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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