Baby Cured in HIV [scientists]

A baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, scientists have announced, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who's now 2 1/2 and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.

There's no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus' genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world's second reported cure.

That fast action apparently knocked out HIV in the baby's blood before it could form hideouts in the body. Those so-called reservoirs of dormant cells usually rapidly reinfect anyone who stops medication, said Dr Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children's Center. She led the investigation that deemed the child "functionally cured," meaning in long-term remission even if all traces of the virus haven't been completely eradicated.
Next, Persaud's team is planning a study to try to prove that, with more aggressive treatment of other high-risk babies. "Maybe we'll be able to block this reservoir seeding," Persaud said.
No one should stop anti-AIDS drugs as a result of this case, Fauci cautioned. But "it opens up a lot of doors" to research if other children can be helped, he said. "It makes perfect sense what happened."

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