Treatment of a baby born with the HIV virus that causes AIDS appears to have been effective in removing any signs of the infection, reports the Associated Press.
The child, who is now 2 1/2 years old has been completely off medication—and virus free—for a year. "You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we've seen," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, who is familiar with the findings, told The Associated Press.
The physicians attending to the child began treatment within the first 30 hours of birth, and it was that swift approach that appears to have pushed the virus out of the body. Dormant cells typically reinfect hosts after suppressive medications have been stopped, but that doesn't seem to be the case with this child.
Experts don't suggest that anyone infected with HIV or AIDS stop taking their drugs as a result of this case, but "it opens up a lot of doors" to further research, particularly if other children can be helped, Fauci said. "It makes perfect sense what happened."
The Huffington Postreports this latest news could prove that multiple cures may exist for HIV and AIDS. While scientists are now going back and looking at data of other reported cures in the 1990s, there is only one other officially documented case of AIDS that has been "cured." That treatment involved a bone marrow transplant by someone who had a natural resistance to the HIV virus. The recipient of the transplant has not required any further medication since the procedure, five years ago.
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