Doctors claim that a new medical breakthrough will allow them to put HIV into remission for good in a Mississippi baby born with the AIDS virus.
The case was reported earlier this year, but some doctors did not believe that the baby was really infected rather than testing positive because the mother’s blood was exposed to virus.
Doctors are saying that this is the first time they’ve a recovery like this and questioned whether scientists and researchers have finally discovered a cure for AIDS. Critics in the medical field are doubtful and it is too soon to recommend aggressively treating other babies without further study.
However, the 3-year-old girl is recovering quite well. She is now so healthy that doctors had to make sure that she was actually born with the disease, and that the tests were not positive simply because exposure to virus in the mom's blood, The Associated Press reported.
The New England Journal of Medicine makes it clear, however, in a new report published Wednesday that the girl was truly infected. She was treated aggressively for 18 months until doctors lost contact with her and her family. The treatments and medicines were stopped and since, but when she came back doctors could not find signs of active infection.
The Washington Times reports that doctors are not calling it a cure for a number of reasons. First, they don’t know if her HIV status will stay negative forever. And second, they have no idea how long it would take before a patient could truly infection-free.
“We want to be very cautious here,” said Dr. Katherine Luzuriag, an AIDS expert with the University of Massachusetts who helped with the girl’s treatment, AP reported. “We’re calling it remission because we’d like to observe the child for a longer time and be absolutely sure there’s no rebound.”