A South African child who was born with the HIV virus has now been found free of the virus.
The child, whose identity is being withheld, was treated with anti retroviral medication as a child when his condition was detected, and nine years later he is entirely free from the virus.
The miracle story of the kid who might be the future of HIV/AIDS medication was told at the International AIDS conference held in Paris on Monday.
NBC News reports…
A 9-year-old child born with the AIDS virus was treated briefly with antiretroviral medication as a baby and is now reported to be free of the infection. The rare but stunning case of wiping out the virus that causes AIDS for years after treatment holds promise for all patients with HIV, infectious disease experts said Monday.
The case of the South African child, whose gender and identity were kept secret, was one of the highlights of the opening day at the international AIDS conference in Paris. Eight-and-a-half years after treatment, the child shows no signs of infection, adding another piece to the puzzle of eliminating human immunodeficiency virus.
“The fact that you can go so long without a rebound shows that it is possible to suppress the virus. It gives us hope that we may be able to do the same in more than just children,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health told NBC News in an interview from Paris, where he is attending the conference.
As a 32-day old infant diagnosed with HIV, the South African baby received medication that stops the AIDS virus from replicating. By 40 weeks, the baby’s immune system was in good shape with no symptoms of the disease. Dr. Mark Cotton, professor of pediatrics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who co-led the study says most importantly doctors found no evidence of an inactive HIV infection.
“Our team has been keeping an eye on the viral loads and we’re seeing that there’s no detectable virus in the child’s blood.”