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Medicine

Researchers Describe First 'Functional HIV Cure' In an Infant 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-step-closer dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news of a breakthrough in the treatment of HIV. "A baby born with the AIDS virus two years ago in Mississippi who was put on antiretroviral therapy within hours of birth appears to have been cured of the infection, researchers said Sunday at a scientific conference in Atlanta. Whether the cure is complete and permanent, or only partial and long-lasting, is not certain. Either way, the highly unusual case raises hope for the more than 300,000 babies born with the infection around the world each year."
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Researchers Describe First 'Functional HIV Cure' In an Infant

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  • by GauteL (29207) on Monday March 04, 2013 @08:37AM (#43066721)

    While having an HIV-infected mother may give an impression of irresponsibility, there are people out there with no history of promiscuity or drug use that have caught HIV for many different reasons. I won't make judgements based on this.

    But the following two newspaper quotes caught my attention.

    BBC:

    The treatment was continued for 18 months, at which point the child disappeared from the medical system. Five months later the mother and child turned up again but had stopped the treatment in this interim.

    Washington Post:

    "The child’s mother began missing appointments after a year. At 18 months, the child was no longer on treatment. When the child was brought back to the clinic at 23 months, the viral load was still undetectable, “very much to my surprise,” Gay wrote.

    It strikes me as wildly irresponsible to the point of criminal neglect to miss medical appointments for your HIV-infected child. It does not appear as if she was told it was ok not to turn up for these appointments. After all, the doctors expected the HIV infection to return if the drug treatment wasn't kept up. If this had happened, and the child had died, I would have expected the mother to be prosecuted for manslaughter.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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