Health Care

Child born with HIV in remission for years without medication

Child born with HIV in remission for years without medication”

The unnamed youngster, from South Africa, was given a short course of antiretroviral therapy treatment shortly after birth. In that case, the baby remained apparently HIV-free for more than two years without drug treatment, until the virus reappeared in her blood.

The South African child is among 143 infants who received ART for 40 weeks.

Meanwhile, researchers also said they had identified a promising vaccine candidate that would be evaluated in a proof-of-concept efficacy study among those at risk of HIV.

"Further study is needed to learn how to induce long-term HIV remission in infected babies", said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in a statement. In 2015, scientists reported another case in a French child.

A 17 per cent fall in diagnoses across England in the past year - from 2,060 to 1,707 - was thanks to "high levels" of HIV testing among people most at risk. They used very sensitive test, and found that a tiny proportion of the child's immune cells contained the virus, but the virus was dormant.

Early therapy has been credited to apparent "cures" in children twice before.

In France, a child who was born with HIV in 1996 has showed no measurable signs of the virus more than 11 years later.

The child, whose identity is being protected, was given a burst of treatment shortly after birth.

An injection may soon be available that prevents the virus spreading and could rid sufferers of the infection, a study implies.

Researchers have been testing injections of HIV medication that are slowly and continuously released into the blood.

The success of therapy has led to deaths related to Aids halving since 2005 to around one million a year, but the amount of medication HIV patients must take is a burden. It also has given renewed interest in early antiretroviral therapy in infancy.

He said: Early HIV therapy, in both children and adults, has been shown to reduce some of the damage to the immune system that HIV causes in the first few weeks and months of infection. "At this stage, we don't recommend any child stops treatment".

There have been two other examples of early, limited treatment leading to outcomes like the one seen in this child, Rizza said, including the case of a baby in MS who received treatment just hours after birth and later went into remission for 27 months.

'For now, however, early diagnosis and life-long treatment for HIV remain our best options for fighting the epidemic'. Our current strategy of daily pills is highly effective and means people can live long, healthy lives and cannot pass the virus on to others.

However, HIV and AIDS remains one of the world's most significant public health challenges, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Writing in a linked comment to the study, Professor Mark Boyd, from the University of Adelaide, said: "While injectable ART might be attractive for some or perhaps many people living with HIV... there will inevitably be a trade-off between the convenience of not having to adhere to oral therapy and the inconvenience and discomfort associated with injectable long-acting ART".

The study, dubbed the LATTE-2 study, "is a phase 2b, open-label study investigating the long-acting, injectable formulations of cabotegravir (ViiV Healthcare) and rilpivirine (Janssen Sciences Ireland UC) as a 2-drug treatment for patients with HIV-1 infection who had already achieved viral suppression with a 3-drug oral regimen of cabotegravir plus 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)".



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