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CHICAGO: The remarkable case of a baby being cured of HIV infection in the United States using readily available drugs has raised new hope for eradicating the infection in infants worldwide, but scientists say it will take a lot more research and much more sensitive diagnostics before this hope becomes a reality.
In a medical first for an infant, the Mississippi toddler was born in July 2010 infected with HIV, treated within 30 hours of delivery with aggressive HIV therapy, which continued for 18 months. She is now considered cured of her infection, a team of researchers led by Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news conference at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta on Sunday.
“From a clinical perspective, this means that if you can get an infected baby on to antiretroviral drugs immediately after delivery, it’s going to be possible to prevent or reverse the infection — essentially cure the baby,” said Dr Steven Deeks, an HIV/AIDS researcher at the University of California at San Francisco who is attending the conference, where the case was presented to researchers yesterday.