- (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
A baby born with HIV is said to be the first documented case of an individual being cured of the virus, sparking new hope that a cure could be just around the corner.
The child was born in Mississippi more than two years ago, with doctors and scientists revealing that it appears as though the child had been "functionally cured." That definition comes a year after the child was taken off medication and no new signs of the virus have emerged.
Doctors do concede that traces of the virus may still be present, but the actual reduction in the virus is what everyone is celebrating.
The announcement was made Sunday at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta, and if proved to be true, would mark only the second documented case of a person being cured of the deadly virus.
Johns Hopkins University's Dr. Deborah Persaud was one of the lead researchers and author of the report, which was released by The Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR). It detailed the treatment of the child and the remission of the virus.
The mother of the child did not receive pre-natal care and the child was diagnosed with HIV at birth, Dr. Rowena Johnston, director of amfAR, told ABC. The treatment was administered for the first 15 months of the child's life before medical personnel lost contact with the mother.
The infant was back receiving medical treatment again around 23 months, with doctors amazed that the child did not show signs of a re-emerging virus. They were cautious to note that this is an isolated incident, however.
"You have to be careful because this is just a single case and although the data looked pretty convincing that you got to be careful that this may not be broadly applicable to other situations," Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, told Reuters.