Sun, Mar 09, 2014 - Page 9 News List

Baby born with HIV may be virus-free after early treatment

By Ian Sample  /  The Guardian

A baby born with HIV may have been cleared of the virus after doctors gave her treatment for the infection within hours of her birth.

Doctors gave the baby’s mother anti-HIV drugs during labor to cut the risk of her passing the infection on and began treating the baby four hours after she was born in suburban Los Angeles in April last year.

Sensitive blood tests suggested that the baby has been completely cleared of the virus, but the infection can hide in tissues and return.

“We don’t know if the baby is in remission ... but it looks like that,” said Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at Mattel children’s hospital at UCLA who consulted on the girl’s care.

Doctors revealed the case at an AIDS conference in Boston on Wednesday.

The baby girl could be the second to be freed of HIV after early treatment with anti-HIV drugs. The first case was reported last year, when doctors gave drugs to a baby born in Mississippi. She was treated until she was 18 months old, but doctors then lost contact with her.

When the girl came back to the clinic 10 months later, doctors could find no sign of the infection. Now three-and-a-half years old, she is still clear of HIV.

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