Washington, March 4: For the first time, in path breaking, documented work, doctors have successfully managed to cure a child of HIV infection.
Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University described the first documented case of a child being cured of HIV. The landmark findings were announced at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta, GA.
Persaud, an amfAR grantee, detailed the case of a two-year-old child in Mississippi diagnosed with HIV at birth and immediately put on antiretroviral therapy. At 18 months, the child ceased taking antiretrovirals and was lost to follow-up.
When brought back into care at 23 months, despite being off treatment for five months, the child was found to have an undetectable viral load. A battery of subsequent highly sensitive tests confirmed the absence of HIV.
According to Persaud, comprehensive tests have confirmed beyond doubt that both mother and child were HIV positive when the child was born, and no signs of HIV infection in the child can be detected by the most sensitive means available, reports Science Daily.
“Given that this cure appears to have been achieved by antiretroviral therapy alone,” said Johnston of the team.
“It is also 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,” he added.