After so many years of trial, doctors in the US have made medical history when they announced that they have effectively cured a child born with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The infant, who is now two and half, does not require HIV medication and doctors believe the toddler will have a normal life expectancy, the Guardian of UK, reported.
“Now, after at least one year of taking no medicine, this child’s blood remains free of virus even on the most sensitive tests available,” Dr Hannah Gay, who cared for the child at the University of Mississippi medical centre told the Guardian.
“We expect that this baby has great chances for a long, healthy life. We are certainly hoping that this approach could lead to the same outcome in many other high-risk babies,” she added.
Commenting on the development, Terrence Higgins Trust describes the development as very interesting.
“This is interesting, but the child will need careful ongoing follow-up for us to understand the long-term implications and any potential for other babies born with HIV. In the UK we already have a programme of ante-natal screening for HIV, which means that there are very few babies born with the virus. Expectant mothers with HIV are given anti-HIV treatment during pregnancy which together with a low-risk caesarean and no breastfeeding means their babies have a 98% chance of being HIV negative. But this could be of interest where mothers to be are diagnosed with HIV during labour rather than pregnancy.
“The roll-out of anti-retroviral therapy across the developing world has both saved the lives of individuals living with HIV, and also had a real impact on the rates of mother-to-child transmission. In this context, it would seem that success lies in making antenatal testing available and then giving the drugs to the mother to prevent the child getting HIV, rather than hoping the drugs will cure the baby once born HIV positive. But for those babies born with the virus, this may