This image provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Center in Baltimore. A baby, born with the AIDS virus, appears to have been cured scientists announced Sunday, March 3, 2013, describing the case of a child from Mississippi, who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. If the child remains free of HIV, it would mark only the world’s second known cure. Specialists say the finding offers exciting clues for how to eliminate HIV infection in children. “Maybe we’ll be able to block this reservoir seeding,” Persaud said. (AP Photo/Johns Hopkins Medicine)
As reported last March, a Mississippi baby born with HIV to a mother who carried the virus was essentially cured of the disease due to a high dose cocktail of antiretroviral shortly after birth. After heavy medical monitoring and testing, the toddler has been free of the disease for two and a half years.
According to a lengthy case report published by the New England Journal of Medicine this week, the mother was not diagnosed with the disease until just before delivering her baby and did not receive prenatal care.
Just 30 hours after the unnamed baby was born, doctors gave the little girl three antiretroviral drugs typically given to patients recently diagnosed with the disease in hopes of containing the virus. For a year and three months, the baby remained on the drugs until the mother stopped giving them to the child for an unknown reason.
CNN spoke with the doctors responsible for caring for the toddler and mother, and have expressed new hope in applying early treatment in children and adults stricken with the disease.
“We are hoping that future studies will show that very early institution of effective therapy will result in this same outcome consistently,” said Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.