HIV reemerges in ‘cured’ child

Girl deemed free of infection in 2013 found to have the virus

10:45am, July 14, 2014

HIV has resurfaced in a child who was presumed cured of the virus. The discovery spotlights limits in detecting the clandestine germ and raises questions about whether HIV can ever truly be cured, experts say.

The child was born HIV-positive in 2010 and received treatment with standard antiretroviral drugs. The patient’s therapy was unexpectedly interrupted 18 months later. But the virus didn’t return to detectable levels, leading scientists to declare last year that the child was “functionally cured” (SN: 4/6/13, p. 14).

On July 10, researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that the virus had resurfaced in the child’s blood after nearly four years of dormancy.

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