Researchers Hail Progress in Functional Cure of Pediatric HIV
By Chelsea Bailey | March 5, 2014
Researchers are hopeful that a second child, born in Los Angeles, CA last April, may be functionally cured of HIV, thanks to rapid and aggressive antiretroviral intervention. Deborah Persaud, M.D. made the announcement as she presented her findings on March 5, during the 2014 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
Persaud heads a nationwide study on the efficacy of early and aggressive treatment intervention for pediatric HIV. Last summer, she and her team made headlines when news broke that an HIV-positive infant was in remission following persistent and aggressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) administered hours after birth. According to Persaud, the toddler -- dubbed the Mississippi Baby -- is still in remission and doing well.
Physicians modeled a second baby’s treatment after the Mississippi Baby case – administering a high dose of ART within hours of her birth. They continue to treat the baby today and test for HIV using sophisticated and sensitive screenings. Thus far the baby’s HIV viral load remains undetectable.
Though Persaud cautions that it is too soon to declare the LA baby functionally cured, she told conference attendees that she’s hopeful not only for the child, but for what the results could mean for the future of HIV treatment.
Around the world, 700 babies are newly infected with HIV each day. We have the knowledge and the tools to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Now, we must marry knowledge with action. Join the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGAPF) as we work tirelessly to ensure women living with HIV have access to critical HIV care and treatment.
Stay tuned for more insights and analysis from CROI 2014!