A team of researchers has documented a case in which a baby born who was born with HIV out of the mother’s womb has been “cured” of the condition using a combination of aggressive drug treatment (“cured” means that the HIV virus can no longer be detected after the end of the treatment). Apparently, the baby was put on antiretroviral therapy within hours of birth, and at a scientific conference in Atlanta, there were no detectable levels of the HIV virus in the baby’s body. It remains to be seen whether this “technical cure” as doctors call it is complete and permanent, but at least it offers a glimmer of hope for over 300,000 babies who are born with HIV worldwide each year.
In fact, this happens to be the first time that an HIV infection has been deemed to be “cured” by drugs (with enough scientific documentation), where the other only known cure of a case of HIV infection happened half a dozen years ago. An American man who lived in Germany received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor who happened to have a rare HIV-resistance mutation in his cells. Well, Katherine Luzuriaga, a physician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, someone who was closely involved in the baby’s care, said, “We are calling this a ‘functional cure,’. Time and further investigation will tell us whether this child actually has been cured or not.”