A nine-year-old HIV infected kid, whose identity is being sheltered, spent most of his life in South Africa without needing any treatment. The child received much treatment soon after the birth.
the child did not get any medication for there were no signs of the active virus. The child was infected by the mother when he was born in 2007. The kid has a huge level of HIV in blood. At that time, early antiretroviral therapy was not used. The child only started to get some help in about two months after the birth. Doctors stopped the treatment in 38 weeks because the virus did not return. So, such an early therapy has already helped two children.
According to the head of the center for pediatric research at the HIV Research Unit in Johannesburg, Doctor Avy Violari told that they did not believe that just antiretroviral therapy could cause remission. He also added that they did not know at all why the child had achieved remission. It probably occurred because of healthy immune system.
Some patients can better deal with HIV infection. They are called elite controllers. But this very child`s remission case is just a miracle.
Doctors also note that while no active HIV is detected in the child’s body, the virus itself was found in the kid’s immune cells. It hides inside them (latent HIV) for a long time. Therefore, a child could still have to undergo drug cure in the future.
Professor Diana Gibb from London laboratory emphasized that it captured the imagination because you saw a so-called virtual cure. She added that such cases were unbelievably exciting.
HIV has already become a huge problem for Africa and the rest of the world. According to statistics, almost 37 million people worldwide live with HIV. However, just 54% of them timely get antiretroviral therapy.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Doctor Anthony Fauci told that they need to conduct further investigations to understand how to make long-term HIV remission in babies. According to him, this child’s case was a real hope because if they start treating children during infancy, they might allow them receiving lifelong therapy.