Tuesday, 5th March 2013
SCIENTISTS CURE CHILD BORN WITH HIV – In what is being hailed as a medical breakthrough in the treatment of HIV, doctors in Mississippi have cured a baby who was born with the virus.
At just 30 hours old doctors decided to give the baby an ‘accelerated’ dose of HIV medication and at three times the normal dosage, which appears to have eradicated the virus preventing it from entering the baby’s cells.
The young girl, now 2 years of age, has had further blood tests of which doctors can find no trace of the HIV virus.
This could now mean that all babies born with the HIV virus could be treated in the same way and in Atlanta, at a medical conference, this was declared as a major breakthrough in finding a cure for the virus that has killed so many people.
In July 2010 a mother, in an advanced state of labour, turned up at a hospital where staff quickly determined her HIV positive status. As the mother had never had any type of HIV treatment doctor’s knew there was a very high risk of the child becoming infected. Under normal circumstance staff would have give the new born a very low dose of Nevirapin and hope that the virus would not take hold. Unfortunately the hospital did not have the exact drug required and therefore rushed the mother to a special center, headed up by Dr Hannah Gay, a Paediatric HIV specialist in Mississippi.
It was here that Dr Gay administered a cocktail of HIV drug at just 30 hours old. Now, at the age of 2, the infant shows no signs of the virus in her blood.
Surely, these series of events could be put down to fate, and if fate has played a part in finding a cure for HIV I doubt anyone will be complaining. This development certainly does not indicate that doctors have found a cure for HIV but the results in this case certainly bring that development a lot further.
It is incredible to think, with high public awareness of HIV that some 300,000 babies were born with HIV in just 2011 alone. However, this treatment could be used in other cases to prevent the mother from spreading the virus to her child.
We can only hope that more people will take precautions when engaging in sexual activities, in order to help prevent the spread of HIV, however doctors and scientists continue their labours in order to find a way of eradicating the virus once and for all.