Since the disease emerged in the early 1980’s, doctors have sought a cure for HIV and AIDS. Though there are several HIV/AIDS treatments available, there is no foolproof way to eradicate the disease.
Earlier this year, there was some hope for an HIV cure after it seemed that the disease was eliminated from a second HIV-positive baby. However, now HIV has returned to the first baby thought cured of the disease.
Here are the details and how this impacts HIV treatment.
HIV Returns in Infant Thought Cured
The “Mississippi Baby”
The “Mississippi Baby” was born to an HIV-positive mother who had never received prenatal care or HIV treatment. When doctors discovered that she was born with HIV, they administered antoretroviral drugs in the 30 hours immediately after the birth, continuing this HIV treatment through her 18th month. After this point, it seemed that the disease was totally eliminated.
Resurgence of HIV
Now almost 4 years old, the child’s blood work revealed a viral load of 16,750, reduced to 2,658 after HIV treatment. Testing shows that the virus strain matches the infection the child inherited at birth, and since the child is not currently in the mother’s care, it is likely that the disease was dormant in the child’s system and not re-caught through transmission of infected fluids.
Impact on HIV Treatment
Researchers are disheartened that HIV has reemerged in the child, but do say it’s impressive that the virus was suppressed for 27 months without treatment. Usually, a viral infection reoccurs within weeks after ceasing treatment. Medical professionals will continue HIV treatment and monitor the Mississippi baby to see what happens next.
The Importance of HIV Testing
Since researchers are still searching for an HIV cure, the best way to protect yourself and your children against the disease is with regular HIV testing and STD testing.Visit your nearest ARCpoint Labs today to get accurate, confidential STD testing.