News the world has been waiting for may have finally arrived Sunday as doctors in the United States made medical history with the first “functional HIV cure.”
Sending shock-waves through the medical establishment, a groundbreaking discovery has been made by doctors and scientists, treating a child with the virus, at the University of Mississippi medical Center.
Said to have been born with the HIV virus (the known precursor to AIDS), the now 2 1/2-year-old has made medical breakthroughs history by being the first documented case of someone being cured and likely never needing any further medication as a result.
Although remnants of the virus still remain in the child's body, doctors are saying the child is expected to enjoy a normal lifespan and the virus looks to be noncommunicable, meaning it will also be very unlikely spread to anyone else.
Rolling the earth-shattering news out at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, Dr Hannah Gay, who cared for the child during treatment, said the situation amounted to the first "functional cure" of an HIV-infected child and the therapy that was discovered to have worked may ultimately help doctors eradicate the virus among newborns as a result.
Under the current treatment model, expectant mothers who are also known carriers are given anti-retroviral drugs during pregnancy to minimize the amount of virus in their blood. Infants are also usually given a course of a single anti-retroviral drug, to try to prevent transmission after birth. This strategy can stop around 98% of HIV transmission from mother to child. If unsuccessful, the result is usually a lifelong regimen of medication for the child.
Because the mother, in this case, was unable to acquire any pre-birth treatment, the doctor opted for an unusually aggressive course of three anti-retroviral drugs for the child, given as liquids through a syringe. The treatment started only 30 hours after birth.
Although the results failed to show right away, doctors were amazed that not even a month later the level of HIV in the baby's blood had fallen so low that routine lab tests failed to detect it.
The mother and baby continued regular clinic visits to the clinic for the next year, but then began to miss appointments, and eventually stopped attending all together. The child had no medication from the age of 18 months, and did not see doctors again until it was nearly two years old.
When the mother and child arrived back at the clinic, Gay ordered several HIV tests, and expected the virus to have returned to high levels. But she was stunned by the results. "All of the tests came back negative, very much to my surprise," she said.
“A patient is functionally cured of HIV when standard tests are negative for the virus, but it is likely that a tiny amount remains in the body,” Dr. Gay stated. "Now, after at least one year of taking no medicine, this child's blood remains free of virus even on the most sensitive tests available. We expect that this baby has great chances for a long, healthy life. We are certainly hoping that this approach could lead to the same outcome in many other high-risk babies," she added.
Subscribe to: Automatic Holistic Health Examiner updates!
Visit these related pages: