(AP) Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Center in Baltimore, one of the doctors who worked with the child.
AP — A baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, 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.
The discovery was made a year after doctors had last seen the child and learned the parent had stopped giving the child medication meant to aggressively fight the virus, according to ABC News. When doctors next saw the child, they were confused by test results that didn’t indicate any trace of the virus.
“My first thought was to panic,” Dr. Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi Medical Center told ABC News. “I thought, oh my goodness, I have been treating a child who is not actually infected.”
But it wasn’t a mistake.
The Jackson, Mississippi, medical center where the discovery was made.
“We have, perhaps inadvertently, but in fact, cured the child,” Gay said.
There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’s genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world’s second reported cure.
A doctor gave this baby faster and stronger treatment than is usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. That was before tests confirmed the infant was infected and not just at risk from a mother whose HIV wasn’t diagnosed until she was in labor.
That fast action apparently knocked out HIV in the baby’s blood before it could form hideouts in the body.
“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we’ve seen,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.