A Mississippi baby born with HIV more than two years ago appears to be the first documented case of a child's being cured of the virus, according to doctors and scientists, ABC news reported Monday.
The baby was given antiretroviral drugs 30 hours after birth—usually a newborn with the virus is given one or two drugs to fend off the disease. This time, instead of waiting to confirm infection, doctors essentially nuked the disease, lowering virus levels immediately and seemingly eradicating the illness.
This marks only the second documented case of a patient being cured of infection with the human immune-deficiency virus. The first, an adult man known as the Berlin patient, was cured as a result of a 2007 bone-marrow transplant.
Doctors theorize that the drugs prevented the formation of so-called viral reservoirs that harbor the virus.
The baby was on treatment and in care until 12 to 15 months of age, at which point the doctors lost contact with the mother and the baby stopped receiving any medication. The baby returned for care at 23 months of age.
Surprisingly, viral loads were still undetectable, despite being off treatment for almost a year.
"You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we've seen," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.
There are approximately 330,000 babies who were born with HIV in 2011.