Health Care

Child's Remission For HIV Gives Doctors Hope

Child's Remission For HIV Gives Doctors Hope”

Scientists believe other factors may have contributed to the child's remission, but they said this case and two others like it, one in the U.S. and one in France, may provide insight into how treating babies early could prevent them from having to take HIV drugs for their whole lives.

A 9-year-old South African child, who was born with HIV, appears to be free of the virus after receiving intense treatment at 9 weeks old.

After initial treatment as a newborn, the child (whose name has not been released) has been practically HIV-free for eight and a half years.

After 40 weeks of treatment, researchers then made a decision to stop the treatment process and place her under observation. Seventy-six per cent of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 79% of people who know their HIV-positive status have access to antiretroviral therapy and 83% of people who are on treatment have undetectable levels of HIV - this equates to 50% of all people living with HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa with viral suppression.

The four countries are among 13 nations with the highest HIV rates where PEPFAR has been focusing its efforts.

These cases may even lead to new treatments for the virus.

Although Scientists did confirm they did detect a small supply of the virus in a very small portion of immune cells, but so far they have not found evidence of an HIV infection.

At least a dozen adults also have had remissions lasting for years after stopping HIV medicines. Dr. Violari is head of pediatric research at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, part of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Dr.

"We believe there may have been other factors in addition to early ART that contributed to HIV remission in this child", said Caroline Tiemessen, PhD, whose laboratory is studying the child's immune system.

Current treatments keep HIV under control but must be taken lifelong.

An ongoing NIH clinical trial called IMPAACT P1115 is testing the hypothesis that giving ART to HIV-infected newborns beginning within 48 hours of birth may permit long-term control of HIV replication after treatment is stopped, potentially leading to HIV remission. It started in 2014 in South America, Haiti, Africa and the United States, and some of the earliest participants might be able to try stopping treatment later this year.



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