Print 22 comment(s) - last by CaedenV.. on Mar 6 at 1:23 PM

The child is now 2 1/2 years old, and still has no sign of the functioning virus

Doctors from Johns Hopkins Children's Center have reported the first baby with H.I.V. infection to be cured.

The team was led by Dr. Deborah Persaud, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The first baby cured of H.I.V. infection comes from rural Mississippi, where a pregnant mother (who hadn't received medical care for the duration of the pregnancy) arrived at a hospital and gave birth prematurely. Tests indicated that the mother was H.I.V. positive, which she was unaware of.

When the baby was born, it was transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It was only about 30 hours old at the time. Five tests -- four for viral RNA and one for DNA -- were positive, showing that the baby was infected as well. The levels were at 20,000 copies per milliliter, which is low, but they were still positive tests.

Dr. Hannah B. Gay, associate professor of pediatrics, stepped in and used a three-drug regimen instead of the usual two-drug prophylactic technique. After the baby was a month old, levels were nearly undetectable.

The mother was told to continue bringing the baby in for treatments. Up until 18 months old, the baby's levels remained very low. The mother then stopped bringing the baby in.

Five months later, the mother returned with her baby for treatment, and surprisingly, the baby's tests came back negative. Doctors expected to see high viral loads because of the five-month absence from treatment.

Further testing showed that the baby had tiny amounts of viral genetic material, but no virus that could replicate. There were no traces of the virus lying dormant in reservoirs in the body, either.

In fact, this is why doctors believe the treatment cured the baby. It was treated so early in life that the virus didn't have a chance to hide in a dormant state within reservoir's in the body -- where drugs cannot reach them.

The child is now 2 1/2 years old, and has no sign of the functioning virus still. It has also been off drugs for one year.

Source: National Institutes of Health

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Still in the "parents" care?
By 7Enigma on 3/4/2013 12:05:09 PM , Rating: 1
I'm shocked after hearing about it and reading this that the "parent" hasn't been relieved of their right to care for this child. What a sick, sick, scenario....

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By thefrozentin on 3/4/2013 1:20:16 PM , Rating: 1
Why..just because the mom is HIV positive? I don't see the logic. Am I missing something?

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By 91TTZ on 3/4/2013 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
The article didn't really point it out but the mother was getting treatment for her and her baby and then just went MIA. She skipped town and nobody heard from her. During that time the baby (who was assumed to have HIV) wasn't getting treatment.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By 7Enigma on 3/4/2013 1:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
?!?!?!?!?!?! (did you read the article past the first sentence?)

Because during the duration of the pregnancy she never had a checkup, and because after undergoing partial treatment she decided to not go for 5-months. We're not talking vitamins and vegetables here...

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By MrBlastman on 3/4/2013 3:23:01 PM , Rating: 4
As sad (an happy) this story is, America is still a free country. We are free to eat cheesburgers, french fries, moonpies, nutty bars, sticks of butter, lard, whale piss or whatever else we want. We can fart in bed, laugh at bad jokes and even tell a few obscene ones also. We can streak naked in our homes, jump off bridges with a rope tied to our ankle and heaven forbid, jump out of perfectly good airplanes.

This is a America. It is who we are. The land of the free.

Nobody says you are required to go to a doctor when you're pregnant. Nobody requires you to give birth in a hospital either. You aren't even forced to use contraceptives (though many should) as well.

With our Children, we can put them in public schools or we can school them at home. We can pay for private schools if we wish or we can put them in with a personal tutor. We can choose our doctors and decide we don't like them.

We have all these choices.

It is terrible this mother brought a child into the world with HIV and didn't know it. It is wonderful it was caught and the child was treated. The parent allowed the child to be treated for many months and finally didn't show up for a short while. We don't know why--only the parent does. But guess what? As the parent of a child you get to choose what happens with your child, not the state, not doctors, not your neighbors. Unless you show you are incompetent and incapable of raising your child in a safe environment, your child is yours to keep.

I don't want a nanny state. I feel for this child but I also recognize the fine line between freedom and no freedom.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By ppardee on 3/4/2013 3:51:38 PM , Rating: 5
As a libertarian, I get where you're coming from, but parents are not free to neglect their children. When your child has a life-threatening virus and you stop treating them, that's neglect.

Not doing prenatal care is also neglectful, but that's kinda debatable. You could say she had no reason to believe she was risking the heath of her child. After she was told she and her child had HIV, there's no excuse.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By Cront on 3/4/2013 5:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
So if my child breaks their arm is it ok for me to see if it sorts itself out rather than seek treatment?

Where do you draw the line between abuse and freedom?

When did avoiding treatment for a terminal illness become "raising your child in a safe environment"?

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By chimto on 3/4/2013 8:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you show you are incompetent and incapable of raising your child in a safe environment, your child is yours to keep.

I'd say this woman showed she was incompetent of raising her child safely.

When your child has a terminal disease and you don't continue treatment for your child, then you are basically letting them die. I don't see it much different than leaving a child in a locked car on a hot summer day and going shopping and hoping that when you get back they'll still be alive. They might live, but why would any person in their right mind take that chance.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By 7Enigma on 3/6/2013 8:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
Child protective services or CPS. They exist in your "free" country for a VERY good reason.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By CaedenV on 3/6/2013 1:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
A free country we may be, but many parents have their kids taken away for much less. Like the dad who stupidly gave his kid hard lemonade at a ball game. Ya, it was a dumb move of either ignorance or bad parenting, but nowhere near the level of bad parenting this lady has shown. Not saying her baby should be taken... But it is quite bothersome.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By Wolfpup on 3/4/2013 8:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that the U.S. doesn't have a national health care system. Many people don't have access to health care in the United States. You can't assume this is a bad parent because of that-quite likely she had no options.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By CaedenV on 3/6/2013 1:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
Bull crap. It is illegal for hospitals to turn patients away, plus there are funds in place exactly for this reason. My wife and I cannot afford healthcare, but everything related to the birth of our two kids was covered in full by state and federal funding. You do not need health insurance to be taken care of, especially when it comes to kids.
All that said, I am all for having healthcare, and hope to get coverage soon, but the point is that not having it is only an excuse.

RE: Still in the "parents" care?
By dblind1 on 3/4/2013 5:07:14 PM , Rating: 3
I love how people just jump in and say take the baby away. In the article, I see no quotes from the mother as to the missing time. If this info came from one clinic, who is to say that the mother didn't go to a different clinic for a second opinion and follow the advice of another doctor. Also, it could be that the mother became unemployeed and had problems getting medicare/medicide to cover the cost of the treatment. Parents can only do the best that they can. Some people might mortgage their how to see the 'best' doctor because they aren't doing everything they can to give the child the best opportunities, and yet then not have money to send them to college. I'm a parent and I will do what I can to make my childrens lives better, but I don't expect the government to make healthcare or insurance a Constitutional Right. I also do not expect all the top healthcare clinics to suddenly become free. I would also venture a guess that the clinic where the child was being treated is not free. Then add to that, the new mom gets to find out not only is she going to have to raise a child, but she has HIV that she has to fight as well.

Also, remember that Human Services should be reviewing real cases of neglect, like not feeding, clothing, or sheltering children. Last I recall, providing cutting edge expensive healthcare is not a requirement of being a suitable parent. If so, you need to require everyone to get a license to have children where they have to prove means and ability to raise them until the age of 18. If you want to start down this road, how about we start up a case against any parent who puts their children in under-performing school districts?

Where did you get 5 months from?
By Prime2515103 on 3/4/2013 1:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
"despite not taking HIV medication for 10 months, according to findings presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta."

"The baby remained on the prescribed antiretroviral treatment regimen until 18 months of age (January 2012), when treatment was discontinued for reasons that are unclear. However, when the child was again seen by medical professionals in the fall of 2012..."

RE: Where did you get 5 months from?
By Silver2k7 on 3/4/2013 1:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't it several years ago they first discovered some african hookers who where immune. Isn't there someway to make an antiviral from the blood of those immune ?

By Silver2k7 on 3/4/2013 1:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
I havn't really looked into this much.. but there where also someone called Dr. Bob Beck who supposedly had a cure.

By Schadenfroh on 3/4/2013 2:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC, A small percentage of (biological) Europeans are immune to HIV because they lack the receptors that HIV exploits to gain entry. In such a case, blood from the immune person does not help, you'd need a bone marrow transplant from someone with the immunity (like the "Berlin Patient").

Not sure how the said prostitutes gained their immunity, assuming they were not of European descent.

By axeman1957 on 3/4/2013 12:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
A mothers blood is never in the baby... they have seporate blood systems.

By Schadenfroh on 3/4/2013 2:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, otherwise we wouldn't have cases where children have an incompatible bloodtype with their mothers...

Not a medic, obviously
By Netscorer on 3/4/2013 3:20:11 PM , Rating: 3
It was treated so early in life that the virus didn't have a chance to hide in a dormant state within reservoir's in the body -- where drugs cannot reach them.

Could someone please explain what these body reservoirs are where Virus can stay out of reach?

Same Baby?
By FS on 3/4/2013 9:55:43 PM , Rating: 1
10 months without any visits, really? So was it the same baby that was tested later and found with no virus?

People do all kinds of crap for publicity; I hope this baby's mom isn't doing the same and it's genuinely a great news.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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