Only viral traces remain after prompt treatment of newborn, suggesting no working virus is left in the girl’s body
An infant born with HIV has cleared her body of the virus with the help of three medications started shortly after birth, scientists reported March 3 at the Conference on Retroviral and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.
On its face, the case looks like the first time an infant has ever wiped out the pathogen as well as the first time a person has been cured with drugs. The virus was thwarted in the girl, now 2 1/2 years old, with the help of more drugs than a newborn usually gets.
But some researchers caution that it remains unclear whether the virus had taken hold and infected the child or whether the child merely carried the virus from her mother.
“There’s no question the baby was exposed,” says Daniel Kuritzkes, a virologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who wasn’t involved in the case. “It’s a little less easy to determine whether the child was actually infected.”
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.