Scientists Assert That A Child has Officially Been "Virtually Cured" of HIV

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 case of the South African child, whose gender and identity were kept secret, was one of the highlights of the opening day at the worldwide AIDS conference in Paris.

Doctors in the country have said that since that burst of treatment the child has not required any other medical attention for the virus for the past eight and a half years. "However, this new case strengthens our hope that by treating HIV-infected children for a brief period beginning in infancy, we may be able to spare them the burden of life-long therapy" and the health consequences of long-term HIV infection, Fauci said.

The findings, conducted in the US, Germany, Canada, Spain and France, were presented at the annual meeting of the International Aids Society in Paris.

At a Monday presentation during an global AIDS conference in Paris, researchers working on the unique case asserted that the child's ongoing health may signal a shift in the way that those who still have the disease are treated - including the likelihood of controlling HIV without a lifelong regimen of exorbitantly expensive pharmaceutical cocktails.

A nine-year-old child has been virtually cured of HIV, scientists claimed yesterday. Especially because there were other children in the trial, who received the same early treatment, but didn't have the same outcome.

A UNITED Nations report finds that Malaysia is one of the 10 countries which together accounted for over 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region, Bernama reported today. In one of such cases, a baby from MS, who was given the medications for first 18 months, stayed in remission for 27 months without medication, but the virus later returned.

The unique child is being studied to teach scientists more about controlling HIV‚ Violari said.

Eight years and nine months later, the HIV virus is still inactive in the toddler's system and she is not being treated either. The tests showed a trace immune system response to the virus but no HIV capable of replicating. "We cannot see virus in the blood using standard techniques. we can see fragments of the virus in the cells".

Although HIV can not be detected in the child's body, it has been detected in their immune cells.

"That could be a signal of something we don't understand but might become a target for future treatments", explains Cotton.

The child initially caught the infection from her mother around the time of her birth in 2007.

A baby born with the virus in MS in 2010 for 27 months after stopping treatment before it rebounded. The virus returned after 23 months, and she was put back on medication. Children in the study were randomly assigned to receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs either immediately after their HIV diagnosis, or only once they showed symptoms of the disease.

The HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines said the cases reported in the month of May breached the 1,000 mark for the first time in Philippine history.

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