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Second baby born with HIV now clear of virus

Doctors said that the California-born baby was given an aggressive course of anti-retroviral drugs shortly after birth.
By Kate Stanton   |   March 5, 2014 at 8:37 PM   |   Comments

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BOSTON, March 5 (UPI) -- A second baby born with the HIV virus may have been cured, doctors announced Wednesday at an AIDS conference.

The unnamed baby girl was born at Miller's Children Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., nine months ago, and immediately tested positive for HIV.

Pediatricians, who were aware of a similar case in Mississippi, gave her an aggressive course of anti-retroviral drugs just nine hours after birth. After six days of treatment, doctors could no longer detect the virus in her blood.

The child, now nine months old, still tests negative for the virus, though doctors are reluctant to call her "cured," because she's still on the treatment.

"This is uncharted territory," Dr. Yvonne Bryson, who consulted on care for the baby told the Los Angeles Times. "The only way we know that we really have remission is to stop therapy."

The Mississippi case made headlines last year, when doctors said that an unnamed child had been born with HIV and was given anti-retrovirals just 30 hours after birth. The University of Mississippi Medical Center's Dr. Hannah Gay told NBC News Wednesday that the child, now 3-years-old, still tests negative for the virus.

“She has not taken any medicines for almost two years and her virus has not returned,” Gay said. “We are thrilled that she continues to do so well.”

A leading researcher said at the confidence that a clinical trial, set to begin in the next several months, will test 50 babys born with HIV and given drugs in the first 48 hours of birth.

[NY Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC News]

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