Baby Treated for HIV at Birth, Now A Cured Toddler
March 4, 2013 10:41 AM
comment(s) - last by
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.
National Institutes of Health
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RE: Still in the "parents" care?
3/4/2013 5:07:14 PM
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?
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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