An amazing story, and reportedly only the second case where someone has been effectively “cured” of having HIV/AIDS.
In this case the baby was born with a high-risk of having HIV – they discovered the mother was HIV+ during birth – so the doctor didn’t wait for tests and started giving the baby larger-than-normal doses of anti-HIV drugs within the first 30 hours after birth.
They kept medicating the baby for a good year and half. The child is now two and a half years old, has been off medication for a year, and his HIV is still in remissions, with only small traces of the virus in his blood, that’s why they’re calling it effectively cured. Normally, the virus starts replicating again if you go off your medication for long.
AP notes that 300,000 kids were born with HIV in 2011. Most of the cases occur outside of the US.
About 300,000 children were born with HIV in 2011, mostly in poor countries where only about 60 percent of infected pregnant women get treatment that can keep them from passing the virus to their babies. In the U.S., such births are very rare because HIV testing and treatment long have been part of prenatal care.
“We can’t promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy,” Gay stressed.