JACKSON, MS – Researchers at Johns Hopkins say a toddler in Mississippi is the first child to be functionally cured of HIV, in other words, the presence of the virus is so small it can’t be detected in her blood.
The little girl was born to an HIV positive mom, who had no prenatal care. Within a few hours of delivery, Dr. Hannah Gay injected the babe with high doses of three anti-viral drugs.
“I drew tests just as they started those drugs, and two different types of tests showed me within the next couple of days that the baby was already infected,” says Dr. Gay.
The baby girl stayed on the meds for almost a year and a half. Not long after, something amazing happened: “When we drew the test, we got back … an undetectable viral load.”
Researchers are already talking about starting new trials.
Dr. Robin Hardwicke at U.T. Health Medical School says this therapy doesn’t necessarily work on adults, but the case may offer some helpful clues toward finding a real cure.
“We definitely need to treat it with a grain of salt, but it’s unbelievable,” says Dr. Hardwicke.
More than 33 million people around the world today are infected with HIV/AIDS. It would be amazing if this little girl leads to a big breakthrough.