Scientists have been searching for a cure to HIV and AIDS since its discovery. While the scientific community still maintains that no actual cure has been found, a functional cure was recently discovered in a two-year old child.
The child, a resident of Mississippi, United States, was diagnosed with HIV at birth. Doctor Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi was the one to make the diagnoses. She immediately placed the child on antiretroviral therapy. After 18 months, the child stopped taking antiretroviral medications and was lost for follow-up. However, five months later, the child came in for a checkup and had no detectable viral loads.
Several doctors were able to confirm the functional cure thanks to an amfAR grant. Doctor Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University was one of the doctors to collaborate. The tests that followed confirmed that both the mother and child had HIV without a doubt, but that there were no longer any more viral loads in the child.
This functional cure goes to show that early treatment may help one’s battle against HIV. For years, doctors and scientists have recommended that those diagnosed with HIV begin antiretroviral treatment immediately. This child has come to be a shining example of why that is.
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