JACKSON, Miss. — Doctors are reporting they have cured a child of HIV for the first time, USA Today reported.
The child, a two-and-a-half-year-old Mississippi girl, contracted HIV at birth, doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical School told the paper. The girl’s mother tested positive for HIV when she arrived at the hospital to give birth but hadn’t had any prenatal care including anti-HIV drugs that have resulted in reducing mother-to-child transmission rates by 98 percent, USA Today reported.
Because doctors suspected the baby would be infected, they began administering anti-AIDS therapy the day after birth. But around 18 months old, the mother and child disappeared and missed several appointments. They were found five months later with help from social services. Though doctors expected to find high levels of HIV in the child, she appeared to be HIV free with virus loads “undetectable,” USA Today said. Now, 10 months later, the child is still testing negative.
Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said they’re hopeful the case will produce studies that will “show us a way to cure other babies in the future.”