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Is This The HIV Cure We’ve Been Waiting For?

Is This The HIV Cure We’ve Been Waiting For?

For the first time in medical history doctors have announced they have effectively cured an infant of HIV, but is this the breakthrough it seems?

The Mississippi Baby: Now Living Life HIV Symptom Free

Scientists announced Sunday at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta that doctors working at the University of Mississippi have for the first time anywhere in the world managed to functionally cure a child of HIV.

While the identity of both the child and its mother have been kept a secret, the baby is now a happy and thriving toddler who continues to show no signs of HIV symptoms.

The child, dubbed the “Mississippi Baby” by the press, is expected to be able to live a healthy life without need for HIV treatment.

How Did Scientists Cure the Child?

According to reports, the child’s mother was unaware she had HIV until after a routine test conducted while she was in labor came back positive. This meant that she could not be given the standard medications that are used when HIV transmission is detected prior to labor. Subsequently, the baby’s risk of contracting HIV was significantly higher than doctors at the hospital would normally have encountered.

As such, once the baby had been delivered the medical staff decided on an aggressive approach. They began treating the child just 30 hours after birth and with three antiretroviral drugs rather than the usual standalone treatment.

Several days later blood tests showed that the child was indeed infected with HIV, something that had likely happened shortly before birth. Doctors continued treating the child, expecting that this would now mean the baby would require life-long HIV care.

A month later, to their surprise, they found the level of HIV in the baby’s blood was so low standard lab tests could not detect it. Regular clinic visits continued for the next year until the mother and child began missing appointments. They then ceased to attend the meetings altogether meaning that, from the age of 18 months, the child received no medical intervention to combat HIV. The child did not see doctors again until nearly two years of age.

Staggeringly, though the doctors had expected to see high levels of the virus in the child’s blood, none could be detected. Under closer examination via much more sensitive blood tests, doctors found only trace levels of the virus that were not capable of replicating. This is what is known as a “functional cure.”

Was the Child Actually Cured of HIV?

There have been protests that calling this a cure isn’t technically true.

If we want to be rigorous about our terminology (and there is good reason to be when it comes to HIV), the virus has not been eliminated in this case, but a “functional cure,” has been achieved. That means the child remains free of HIV symptoms and cannot transmit the virus. While the distinction doesn’t matter so much in terms of outcome, the child is likely to live a life free of HIV, the distinction is important for science.

Why? Well, the only other person on record to have been functionally cured of HIV is Timothy Brown, known as the Berlin Patient, whose HIV symptoms disappeared after a bone marrow transplant. Brown was again the subject of scientific interest last year when researchers announced that they had found trace amounts of the virus in Brown’s blood when before they had not been detectable. Brown remains functionally cured but further tests are being used to work out what this means for our understanding of his case and whether it is possible the virus could reassert itself (which seems unlikely but nevertheless must be explored).

In the same way, it will be important for doctors to understand the similarities in both cases, both involved effectively turning off HIV’s ability to replicate but were achieved through very different methods, and whether this points to other areas of research that could in time lead to a wider cure.

So yes, a cure has for all practical purposes been found but as to the question of whether this is the cure for HIV? No, not yet.

What Does This Mean For HIV Patients and HIV Prevention?

Well, at this juncture, not much. For adults living with HIV/AIDS the treatment that was used in this case will not be effective because the virus has already established the method by which it replicates itself and this treatment regiment would not help.

However, this case could potentially be a landmark in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS when it comes to infant patients for whom this treatment could still be viable, but only if further tests and future trials prove that this case could be successfully replicated in clinics around the world.

Specifically, and rather than emphasizing the drugs used, the treatment window in this case has been heralded as the crucial factor. Usually, doctors would wait before starting a treatment regime for children with a positive HIV infection test. In this case, because doctors knew there was an overriding likelihood of transmission, they treated the Mississippi Baby within hours of the child being born.

The researchers believe that it was this act that stopped the virus from establishing its method of replication, and that this may have been key in the functional cure.

Obviously there is still much research to be done before any kind of further treatment ideas can be ventured, and those sounding notes of caution are being both responsible and pragmatic because we remain a long way away from establishing any kind of wide-ranging, easily deliverable cure, yet the case is undeniably encouraging.

 

Related Reading:

HIV/AIDS: The tide is turning, but not fast enough

Is Cow’s Milk The HIV Vaccine We’ve Been Waiting For?

There’s an HIV Cure, Claims Gambian President

 

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322 comments

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3:47PM PDT on May 31, 2014

MARGRET

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3:46PM PDT on May 31, 2014

MARGRET

What a wonderful day like this I never thought of having fun with my friend again in life I always feel different from human because of my HIV virus all I always think of was to have a better life to always move out with friends go about my daily activities but this HIV really imprisoned me I always stay indoor everyday and before you know the reaction became unbearable i was always falling sick every time until my friend who was cured of HIV gave me this address sagohivcureherbalcenter@gmail.com this man is a man of powers and ability he helped me cure my HIV virus for 45mins after i tested negative I never believe in my life that HIV have cure what a dream DR sago is the anti virus to HIV wow what a happy mood in my life well I know the man is a busy man I was delayed but I was cured this man cured me brothers and sister, HIV have cure contact him now to be free like me his email address is saghivcureherbalcenter@gmail.com or call +2347060595685

4:02PM PDT on May 30, 2014

Good morning everyone, my name is Miss Bernille from brazil, i have been suffering from Hiv/Aids for over 4years now, and suddenly, i have spent all my money all to make sure i get healthy all day, but happily, last month january 12th 2013, i came in contact with a traditional doctor also known as a chief priest on a newspaper who is called Dr DR.ABEGBE who has help much people to cure their aids disease, firstly i taught it was a joke until i contacted him " 'DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM ' " and he said that if i am ready for this work, i told him yes, and he collected my details and told me that after he has finished consulting his oracle he will run back to me on when to go for a medical check up, i was unhealthyling surprise. And truly last week monday dr olorun called me to quickly go for a medical checkup, which i did, only to find out that i was not with any HiV disease anymore, my friends and families who left me before run back to me.

12:50PM PDT on May 22, 2014

What a great man, a great thanks to DR.ABEGBE the man that bring me out of this sorrow this is the man that can as well help the world, on this diseases I can remember 5 year ago when I was searching for cure, and how I have spent much money and I finally lost hope due to my conduction I have to put my hope on god, lucky to me last week here I was on the internet, check on how many year I can spent on earth them I see a comment about this great man DR.ABEGBE what a lucky day for me and today am giving my testimony about him I have never believe there is cure at all, but this man just want me to give him a try, if he cannot do it I will know his is not DR.ABEGBE that he have been doing this cure for more than many year now I put my hope on him and also my dear god but today am very happy to give this story to you all, it all happen when I was 23 year well because of this disease I can get married and very happy today am now negative I can get married now to my follow people that is on my shoes this the good way to say bye to this diseases HIV/AIDS contact this man now DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@HOTMAIL.COM DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM +2348113017989

3:33PM PDT on May 20, 2014

• MY HIV DISEASE WAS CURED BY DR OBOH, WITH HIS HERBAL HEALING SPELL/
(drobohspellworks@outlook.com).DR OBOH is the only Dr who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, I have tried almost everything but I couldn’t find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, I always spend a lot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day I was just browsing on the internet when I come across a great post of! Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime I really wonder why people called him Papa OBOH I never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so I quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing I will never forget that anyone who contacted him is! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so I was amazed all the time I heard that from him, so I did all things only to see that at the very day which he said I will be healed, all the strength that has left me before rush back and I becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so I will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said I am HIV negative, I am very amazed and happy about the healing Dr OBOH gave to me from the ancient p

12:19PM PDT on May 13, 2014

I never believed spell could cue HIV on till now.
My name is Cristina Ezekiel from South Africa i saw some testimonies on the internet on how Dr. Ariba cured a girl of HIV/AIDS. but because i was desperate i tried and contacted him on dr.aribaspelltemple@outlook.com and he casted my spell and sent me a parcel and after two days i was healed totally. if you need his help, you can contact him on dr.aribaspelltemple@outlook.com Or draribaspelltemple@gmail.com and get cured.
Kind regards,
Cristina.

2:35AM PDT on May 12, 2014

Hello,

i want to share this testimony to the public about a great man who help me out in serious illness. I had HIV AID for good 5year and I was almost going to the end of my life due to the way my skin look like all I have in my mind is let me just give up because life was not interested to me any longer but I just pray for God every day to accept my soul whenever I’m gone lucky to me my kid sister ran to me that she found a doctor in the internet who can cure HIV/AIDS she helped me out on everything the man ask for my picture, so he can cast a spell on me from his temple after all he ask is done 45mins later I started getting more stronger my blood started flowing normally for 4 to 5 days I start getting Weight before a month my body start developing my skin start coming up after 2month I went for HIV test and I was tested negative I’m so happy that I can say I’m not a HIV patient if you have HIV/AIDS or any sickness please for your sake contact him for cure now on his email address: dr.jerryspellhome@gmail.com and i pray that he will help you also.All thanks to DR.JERRY, you can also contact me via email address: sheilagarcia654@gmail.com

2:04PM PDT on Apr 30, 2014

Hello my names are Maxwell Asco
and I’m giving a testimony about Dr. Oyalo who cured me from HIV, when I did
the test and I was confirmed positive, I was so confused because my son is just
too young and I need to be there for him, so I tried all means to make sure I
will be there for him, I saw a blog where Dr. Oyalo cured HIV, I contacted him
through his email and explained my problems to him, and he assured me of
healing, he did what he has been doing for other people and I was cured also
when he asked me to go for check-up...
I’m so happy for what Dr. Oyalo did for me, contact him via email on dr.dr.oyalospellhome@hotmail.com or dr.dr.oyalospellhome@gmail.com
I know he can help you. You can reach me on maxwellascoform@gmail.com

10:36AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

What a great man, a great thanks to DR.ABEGBE the man that bring me out of this sorrow this is the man that can as well help the world, on this diseases I can remember 5 year ago when I was searching for cure, and how I have spent much money and I finally lost hope due to my conduction I have to put my hope on god, lucky to me last week here I was on the internet, check on how many year I can spent on earth them I see a comment about this great man DR.ABEGBE what a lucky day for me and today am giving my testimony about him I have never believe there is cure at all, but this man just want me to give him a try, if he cannot do it I will know his is not DR.ABEGBE that he have been doing this cure for more than many year now I put my hope on him and also my dear god but today am very happy to give this story to you all, it all happen when I was 23 year well because of this disease I can get married and very happy today am now negative I can get married now to my follow people that is on my shoes this the good way to say bye to this diseases HIV/AIDS contact this man now DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@HOTMAIL.COM DR.ABEGBESPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM +2348113017989

7:41PM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive last 3years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strenghtful, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me unsecurely without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the DR.OGODOMEN the traditional healer’s email id: DR.OGODOMENSPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM and I mailed him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his temple home wereby all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him. So Yesterday, as i was just coming from my friends house, DR.OGODOMEN called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so i quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the test note, he

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