Tags: second | hiv | baby | cured

Second HIV Baby Cured: Drug Cocktail Just After Birth Seems Promising

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 10:01 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A second baby born with HIV appears to be cured after receiving the same three-drug cocktail that treated the first child in Mississippi three years ago.

The new case, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston this week, involved a baby born to a mother with AIDS last summer at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

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The infant was given a three-drug cocktail of antiretroviral drugs within four hours of her birth and, 11 days later, the virus was undetectable, according to CNN. There was still no trace of HIV antibodies in the baby's blood nine months later, though she's still receiving treatments so doctors can't determine if the virus is truly in remission.

"Taking kids off antiretroviral therapy intentionally is not standard of care," Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist with Johns Hopkins Children's Center who has been involved in both cases, told CNN. "At this time, there is no plan to stop treatment."

News of the original HIV-cured baby first made headlines back in March 2013 when doctors introduced the case at a medical meeting in Atlanta. The child, a 3-year-old from Mississippi, was born to an HIV-positive mother and administered the three-part cocktail of antiretroviral drugs within 30 hours of her birth.

She continued receiving treatments for 15 months until her mother inexplicably stopped showing up to the appointments. Nevertheless, a checkup some five months later revealed no sign of HIV antibodies.

Now, nearly two years after stopping the antiretroviral treatments, the girl is still reportedly HIV-free, suggesting that receiving treatments immediately after birth may prevent the virus from fully infiltrating the body.

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