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9-Year-Old Child in South Africa 'Virtually Cured' Of HIV Infection

25 Julio 2017, 11:55 | Faron Santos

9-Year-Old Child in South Africa 'Virtually Cured' Of HIV Infection

A HIV patient takes her dose of ARV drugs. Researchers have said pharmaceuticals know that if they found a cure it would be a one-off cost and choose instead to make profits from antiretroviral drugs. FILE

The trial involved the child being administered a burst of antiretroviral drugs, beginning at nine-weeks old until they were 40-weeks old when the virus became undetectable, and since that time they have not required any more treatment to fight the disease.

The child from MS was given treatment just a day after they were born and HIV remained undetectable until 27 months afterwards.

The child, who has not been identified, was given treatment as soon as they were born as they were infected with the virus at birth.

Today, at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris, researchers have reported an instance where HIV has truly been cured.

The greater hope for treating HIV is in new medicines that would destroy only the infected cells, along with strong public health initiatives that help everyone access treatment for HIV, she added.


The child has had a healthy immune system for more than eight years after receiving a short course of treatment in early life, according to a new study.

One reason is that it's hard for individuals with HIV to receive treatment quickly enough after infection, whether they're infants or adults, Rizza said.

Malaysia is one of the 10 countries which together accounted for over 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016, said the United Nations in a recently-released report.

"Our team has been keeping an eye on the viral loads and we're seeing that there's no detectable virus in the child's blood".

The doctors are still uncertain as to what is actually going on in the immune systems of these children. But researchers believe there may be something else besides the early drug treatment that contributed. "Early treatment stops HIV transmission, early treatment means the immune system stays in better shape and early treatment keeps the (virus) reservoirs small".


The estimated number of dollars needed to reach the U.N.'s 90-90-90 goal - 90 percent of all people with HIV know they are infected, with 90 percent of those taking sustained antiretroviral therapy, with 90 percent of those achieving suppression of the virus - by 2020. They also have lower levels of CCR5 cells.

In fighting off full blown infections after lengthier periods of treatments early in life as two two other children born with HIV one in France and one in MS had shown similar promise. In 2013, researchers reported the case of a baby born with HIV in MS who was treated with anti-HIV drugs just 30 hours after birth.

Eight years and nine months later the result is the virus being dormant without her ever having to use any medication.

The second case was reported in France where a child underwent treatment from birth until the age of six years.

"The introduction of single-tablet medication represented a leap forward in ART dosing, and long-active antiretroviral injections may represent the next revolution in HIV therapy by providing an option that circumvents the burden of daily dosing", he said, as quoted by AFP.




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