‘Mississippi Baby’ who was ‘cured’ of HIV sees virus reemerge after two-year absence

Girl 'cured' of HIV sees virus reemerge
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the immune system (Picture: SPL)

A girl thought to have been cured of HIV has the virus once again.

The four-year-old, born to an HIV-infected mother in 2010 and known publicly only as the ‘Mississippi Baby’, seemed to expel the virus from her system after an 18-month period of treatment was apparently unsuccessful.

However, doctors said tests during a routine checkup this month found detectable levels of HIV in her blood as well as decreased levels of cells that are part of the immune system, indicating the virus has returned after an apparent absence of two years.

In a statement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, doctors called the re-emergence ‘unprecedented’.

A baby girl in the US born with HIV and believed cured after very early treatment has now been found to still harbour the virus. Tests last week on the four-year-old child from Mississippi indicate she is no longer in remission, say doctors. She had appeared free of HIV as recently as March, without receiving treatment for nearly two years. The news represents a setback for hopes that very early treatment of drugs may reverse permanent infection. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told US media the new results were "obviously disappointing" and had possible implications on an upcoming federal HIV study. "We're going to take a good hard look at the study and see if it needs any modifications," he said.
Doctors said the case was a reminder of how much research is still needed (Picture: SPL)

‘It’s a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child’s care, and the HIV/AIDS research community,’ said Director Anthony S. Fauci, who said the case served as a reminder of how much work on HIV and AIDS is needed.

According to the NIAID, doctors didn’t know the girl’s mother was HIV-positive until she gave birth, and quickly administered antiretroviral treatment to the new baby in the hope that they might be able to suppress the virus.

After 18 months of treatment, doctors said the girl was ‘lost’ but, remarkably, she seemed not to have HIV anymore when doctors tested her six months later.

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Source: metro.co.uk

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