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For the first time a baby is cured of HIV

For the first time a baby is cured of HIV

The doctors of an HIV infected  baby have announced they have cured the child.

As reported by the New York Times, the infant was born in rural Mississippi (a southern US state). Antiretroviral drugs were administered approximately 30 hours after birth. This type of procedure is uncommon with newborns, but could  turn into standard procedure if the case is confirmed.

This is the second case of a patient cured of HIV. The first was Timothy Brown, called the ‘Berlin Patient’ in medical literature. The middle-aged man, who had leukemia, received a bone-marrow transplant from someone who was genetically resistant to HIV.

‘For pediatrics, this is our Timothy Brown,’  Dr. Deborah Persaud, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the report on the baby said to the New York Times. ‘It’s proof of principle that we can cure HIV. infection if we can replicate this case.’

The mother gave birth prematurely, in a rural hospital, in 2010. She had no medical care during the pregnancy and did not know she was HIV. Initial tests showed the child might be infected and treatment was started approximately a day later. Virus levels quickly dropped and were nearly undetectable a month later.

Some researchers are skeptical, wondering if the patient actually had the virus.

‘The one uncertainty is really definitive evidence that the child was indeed infected,  Dr. Daniel R. Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said to the newspaper.

The unmanned child’s physicians will report their findings tomorrow, 4 March, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.