Last April in Los Angeles a girl was born with HIV. Her mother was HIV positive at the time of the baby’s birth. Doctors knew that she had the AIDS virus and within four hours were able to treat her. They now think that she is in remission and have hopefully cured her of this all too often fatal disease.
When it was announced last March that a baby born with HIV in Mississippi was now cured it made doctors and scientists think about how to treat the child and how quickly they would need to do it. The Mississippi baby was treated shortly after birth. He is three and a half years old now and has no signs of HIV anywhere in his system. The last time he had a treatment was over two years ago. The baby in Los Angeles is still receiving treatment so her status at this time is not yet known but things are looking promising.
They have done a bunch of tests on the LA baby and they have shown that she appears to be completely cleared of the virus, but more tests still need to be run. They have observed that the signs that they are seeing point to a cure as opposed to the virus simply being suppressed as certain signs look different from those who have suppressed HIV. They are still being cautious about using the word cured just yet though.
When mothers who are HIV positive are pregnant they are given drugs that help to reduce their chance of passing the HIV on to the baby. The mother in Mississippi hadn’t gotten any prenatal care and so they treated the baby 30 hours after he was born without even knowing for sure if he had the virus or not. The LA mother was known by the doctors for not taking her meds and so once they confirmed that the baby did have the virus they began treatment right away. Now a year later they are not seeing any signs of HIV.
The children will continue to be monitored to evaluate their progress.