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Girl hoped to have been cured of HIV has relapsed

HIV Baby Cure

A Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for years despite stopping treatment now shows signs that she still harbors HIV - and therefore is not cured. The news is a setback to hopes that very early treatment with powerful HIV drugs might reverse an infection that has seemed permanent once it takes hold.

The girl is now nearly 4. As recently as March, doctors had said that she seemed free of HIV despite not having been on AIDS drugs for about two years. That was a medical first.

But on Thursday, doctors said tests last week showed that she is no longer in remission. She is now back on treatment and is responding well, doctors said.

The news is "obviously disappointing" and may have implications for a federal study that had been about to start testing early, aggressive treatment in such cases, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We're going to take a good hard look at the study and see if it needs any modifications," either in terms of length and type of treatment or because of ethical concerns over raising false hopes about an approach that now has suffered a setback, Fauci said.

Most HIV-infected moms in the U.S. get AIDS medicines during pregnancy, which greatly cuts the chances they will pass the virus to their babies. The Mississippi baby's mom received no prenatal care and her HIV was discovered during labor. Because of the baby's great risk of infection, doctors started her on unusually powerful treatment 30 hours after birth, even before tests could determine whether she was indeed infected.

The girl was treated until she was 18 months old, when doctors lost contact with her. Ten months later when she returned, they could find no sign of infection even though the mom had stopped giving her AIDS medicines.

Tests repeatedly showed no detectable HIV until last week, when copies of the virus were measured in her blood. Doctors say they don't know why the virus rebounded when it did, and said it raises profound questions about what they know about HIV's hideouts in the body.

In March, doctors revealed that a second baby born with HIV may have had her infection put into remission by very early treatment - in this case, four hours after her birth in suburban Los Angeles in April 2013. Nearly a year later, very sophisticated tests at multiple times suggested she had completely cleared the virus, but she remains on treatment so there is no way to know for sure.

Only one other person is thought to have been cured of HIV infection - a San Francisco man who had a bone marrow transplant in 2007 from a donor with natural resistance to HIV. He showed no sign of infection more than five years later.

Mississippi Baby Has HIV Again, Cure Hopes Take A Hit

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tbplayer44 July 10 2014 at 4:36 PM

If the irresponsible would just use condoms, we could eradicate HIV from our planet... but the irresponsible refuse to be responsible, and care not who is affected by their actions. Any parent who bears a child with HIV at birth, should be held accountable for Child Endangerment, as their actions are directly what caused this illness.

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10 replies
d1anaw July 10 2014 at 9:12 PM

I hope this child is removed from the mother. She has shown that she is either unable or unwilling to get treatment over the long haul.

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1 reply
nsarmento d1anaw July 10 2014 at 10:34 PM

I was starting to think I was the only one who picked up on that point! Why did this child disappear for months? What if her excuse for a mother had continued to give her the meds she was supposed to be taking? So many variables here I'm not sure how any good conclusions can even be made. Perhaps if this child had had the medication the outcome would be different.

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Velocity105 July 10 2014 at 6:26 PM

Why would a woman who is HIV-positive get pregnant in the first place? Are they so selfish wanting a child that they're willing to put the infant at risk?

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4 replies
bronzemarigolds July 10 2014 at 7:53 PM

There will never be a CURE for any disease now. Diseases are a seriouse billions dollar business. Why would they look for a cure for anything when they can just come up with more drugs to keep the sick dealing out the cash. And if the new drugs cause side affects, why thats even better. Then they can make more drugs to counter act the sides affects. Makes me sick on how they are always stating "help find a cure" for this and that when we all know full well that there will never be ANY CURES for ANYTHING as long as corporate greed has their thumbs in the government pie.

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4 replies
Mary July 10 2014 at 9:50 PM

HIV/AIDS is preventable .. sadly, no one is listening ..

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mark July 10 2014 at 8:26 PM

Sorry Floatgod but it is not just the gays and drug users. BUT also men getting out of prison "infected" having sex with their GF, BF, Wives etc, It is a vicious cycle, and until condoms are used for ALL one night stands, people who know they are infected, the virus is going to get stronger. As a Lab Tech for 30 years just like tbplayer44 said "We can burn this virus out forever, but some people just will not use a condom. Very sad

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2 replies
hellyon3too mark July 10 2014 at 10:13 PM

You're a lab tech? I don't think so. If you were, you'd know that there are more ways to contract HIV than sexual contact, and condoms are not 100% effective.

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Mike mark July 11 2014 at 9:31 AM

So...what do we do about junkies sharing needles? Hospitals doing transfusions with tainted blood? And the many other ways people get HIV? And also, will you please tell me what condums you are using? Because I was under the impression no condum was 100%. So if you found that elusive 100% condum you should tell the world.

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cayce58 July 10 2014 at 7:51 PM

HIV was never a homosexual disease. In 1990s when "The River" was written, clade B was blood borne and concentrated in the homosexual community. Clades A, C, E, F, G, and J could be spread by heterosexual activity. Some clades had simply disappeared.

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vivianlwood July 11 2014 at 8:55 AM

The mother got AIDS, then got pregnant, then didn't get prenatal care, then didn't give the baby her AIDS medication. The woman should be in prison for child neglect and endangerment, and the child should be permanently removed from her. It's just too bad that the law doesn't allow us to sterilize some people.

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Doug July 11 2014 at 11:21 AM

When the story first broke and the AIDS crowd was crowing that this girl was cured of the disease, I said they were wrong. There has never been a cure for any virus and, even though it would be incredible if they actually COULD find a cure for viruses, it is very unlikely in the near future. People who hold out that hope so they can go back to their irresponsible, reckless sex lives are fools and need to stop pushing their agenda when there are far more important diseases needing to be addressed.

The politicization of this disease is a disgrace and a danger to all world societies.

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Mike July 10 2014 at 4:50 PM

Lots of good treatments now. No cure, but she should have a long and fruitful life

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