HIV-positive infant completely cured for first time

Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

"Game-changer"

This might not be strictly green news, but it's enough of a big deal to be worth mentioning. After all, our broader goal is to make the world a better place for future generations, and finding a cure for HIV/AIDS would certainly qualify. That's why it's so exciting to read that for the first time, a child born with HIV was cured:

The fact that the newborn tested positive for HIV within 30 hours of birth is a sign she was probably infected in utero, HIV specialists say.

[University of Mississippi pediatric infectious disease specialist, Hannah Gay] decided to begin treating the child immediately, with the first dose of antivirals given within 31 hours of birth. That's faster than most infants born with HIV get treated, and specialists think it's one important factor in the child's cure.

In addition, Gay gave higher-than-usual, "therapeutic" doses of three powerful HIV drugs rather than the "prophylactic" doses usually given in these circumstances.

Over the months, the baby thrived, and standard tests could detect no virus in her blood, which is the normal result from antiviral treatment. (source)

US National Institute of Health/Public Domain

This makes this infant the first child, and the second person in the world to have been cured from HIV in the past 30+ years, since we've known of the virus.

There's an estimated 330,000 children that are born with HIV each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hopefully this can be repeated with other HIV-positive infants, and eventually we can completely cure infected adults too.

Via NPR

See also: Shocking! Thousands of Mutilated Shark Fins Drying on Hong Kong Rooftops

Tags: Health | Health Care

2014 Gift Guide

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK