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French Teenager's HIV Kept in Remission Without Drugs

Image: French Teenager's HIV Kept in Remission Without Drugs
A new born baby rests beside his mother at a hospital in Cuba. The World Health Organization has declared Cuba the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. (REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 06:52 AM

A French teenager born with HIV has kept the virus in remission for over a decade after her medications were discontinued, doctors said Monday.

Researchers who presented the case at the 2015 International AIDS Society conference in Vancouver, B.C. think that early treatment when the patient was born helped bring the unique situation about, CNN reported.

"This is the first [time] long-term remission has been shown in children, or adolescents," said Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Institut Pasteur in France. "We have already found it was possible in adults."

The virus has been at levels so low it could not be detected since the girl was 21 months old. Between ages 5 and 6, her parents failed to bring her in for observations, and at that time stopped her treatment by antiretroviral drugs.

Now, over 12 years later, the virus has remained undetectable. The outcome is a rare one, but scientists hope to discover how such a situations arises.

"Most people are not going to be able to control after treatment interruption, but some can," said Sáez-Cirión. "What we are trying to do now is understand why some can and most do not."

Many scientists currently believe that early exposure to treatment — that is, the administration of drugs shortly after infection — can help prevent the creation of HIV reservoirs in the body.

Previously, doctors thought the first child to experience sustained remission was a young girl in Mississippi. Born with the virus and treated early with antiretrovirals, the baby went into remission for two years, but eventually tested positive for the virus again.

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A French teenager born with HIV has kept the virus in remission for over a decade after her medications were discontinued, doctors said Monday.
french, teenager, hiv
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2015-52-21
Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 06:52 AM
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