The Best Feel Good Story Possible: Baby Cured Of HIV

Eat it HIV. 

Mondays. Ugh. Am I right guys? Well, here’s a little something to get your through the waning minutes of your work day — doctors have, for the first time ever, completely rid a baby of HIV.

The child, who was likely infected with the virus in the womb, began receiving antiretroviral therapy almost immediately (a mere 30-hours after she was born). After only a month HIV levels had dropped to undetectable levels and stayed that way until treatment stopped a year and a half later. Five months after stopping treatment, doctors checked back in on the child — still no traces of HIV. Assuming there’s no tragic turn for the worse, this child would be only the second person in history to be fully cured of the virus.

Hit the jump for a more detailed accounting of the baby’s story, courtesy of the New York Times

“The mother arrived at a rural hospital in the fall of 2010 already in labor and gave birth prematurely. She had not seen a doctor during the pregnancy and did not know she had H.I.V. When a test showed the mother might be infected, the hospital transferred the baby to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where it arrived at about 30 hours old.

Typically a newborn with an infected mother would be given one or two drugs as a prophylactic measure. But Dr. Gay said that based on her experience, she almost immediately used a three-drug regimen aimed at treatment, not prophylaxis, not even waiting for the test results confirming infection.

Virus levels rapidly declined with treatment and were undetectable by the time the baby was a month old. That remained the case until the baby was 18 months old, after which the mother stopped coming to the hospital and stopped giving the drugs.

When the mother and child returned five months later, Dr. Gay expected to see high viral loads in the baby. But the tests were negative.

Suspecting a laboratory error, she ordered more tests. ‘To my greater surprise, all of these came back negative,’ Dr. Gay said.”

Unfortunately this case probably won’t do much to help adult HIV sufferers, but every year another 300-thousand children are born with the disease, and this could be a huge step towards improving or eliminating that grim statistic. So yeah, there you go, something to put a smile on your face on the commute home.

via The New York Times