Boy born with AIDS but cured

March 04, 2013 18:51
Boy born with AIDS but cured

With a mother who had HIV and without proper pre-natal care, a baby has contracted HIV right when he was born but that didn't kill him. That was not a trouble for the kid, all thanks to a doctor who took a bold move trying to rid the child of the problem. Today, the kid is the only second person to have HIV labeled as functionally cured, as cured as HIV can get. The baby from Mississippi has no active HIV in his body that can replicate after one year of not taking any medication.

However, the institute says that they have not found a cure to the problem nor they can say that he will remain healthy for the rest of his life. An initial test run by a doctor showed him free of the virus but a detailed test has declared that the child had a few traces of genetic material present in the body.

It all began at a poorly equipped rural emergency who were not capable to provide advanced care for the HIV treatment for the infant to be born because they didn't have the required liquids to deal with it. It was too late before they moved to the private hospital and the child had already contracted the fatal infection.

However, the doctor who had to wait for the results to say whether the kid had HIV or not was not very patient for a good reason. He immediately loaded three anti-HIV injections within 30 hours of birth to actively combat the HIV. After this they put the kid on medication for 18 months to prevent the HIV from developing or becoming active.

"I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot," Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi said

The mother of the child then discontinued the medication completely. At this stage the reservoirs of the dormant cells are quite capable of transmissions to other people if they had not continued taking medications. The child was considered functionally cured with a long-term remission but not complete cure. One year later too, the kid is perfectly alright with no infection but with a few traces of the DNA material that is not able to replicate.

"We can't promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy," Gay stressed. There will be a few more tests over the further course of the year and they will finally declare whether the kid is completely free from any risk of HIV soon while the mother is optimistic about the results.

This marks the second such case of a AIDS cure. One man was cured after he got a complete bone marrow transplant from a rare kind of donor who was resistant to HIV naturally.

(AW- Anil)

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