Prolonged HIV Remission in HIV-positive French Teen Advances Efforts to End AIDS in Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts: Johanna Harvey: jharvey@pedaids.org or +1 (336) 202-0324
Ryan Henson: rhenson@pedaids.org or +1 (202) 280-1537

Vancouver, B.C.—July 20, 2015—The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) welcomes a new French study that presented the first case in the world of long-term viral suppression in a child who was infected with HIV at birth. A young woman, who is now 18 years old, was infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission in 1996. As reported by the French ANRS pediatric cohort today at the International AIDS Society Conference (IAS 2015), the young woman appears to have benefited from early antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation shortly after birth. Her treatment stopped approximately six years later, but the HIV virus has continued to remain in remission.

“This patient brings another wave of hope that a cure for HIV is in sight, especially for children,” said Natella Rakhmanina, M.D., Ph.D., EGPAF’s director of technical leadership and professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University. “The case study shows that when HIV-positive children are on put on treatment soon after birth, we can significantly decrease the viral reservoirs and suppress viral load for very prolonged periods of time. This new study expands our possibilities into HIV cure research. Innovative research and treatment options for children are among the most important steps to ending pediatric HIV.”

This new study aligns with the recent findings of the START study and the 052 clinical trial which show early treatment for HIV leads to improved health outcomes for people living with HIV. These new research findings are likely to inform the anticipated new World Health Organization (WHO) HIV treatment guidelines, which will call for all people of all ages to immediately be put on HIV treatment upon diagnosis.

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About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS and has reached more than 21 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently supports nearly 7,800 health facilities and works in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.