Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First documented case of child cured of HIV

Date:
March 3, 2013
Source:
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Summary:
Researchers have described the first documented case of a child being cured of HIV. The case involves a two-year-old child in Mississippi diagnosed with HIV at birth and immediately put on antiretroviral therapy. At 18 months, the child ceased taking antiretrovirals and was lost to follow-up. When brought back into care at 23 months, despite being off treatment for five months, the child was found to have an undetectable viral load. A battery of subsequent highly sensitive tests confirmed the absence of HIV.

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human T cell.
Credit: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Researchers today described the first documented case of a child being cured of HIV. The landmark findings were announced at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta, GA.

Related Articles


Dr. Deborah Persaud, of Johns Hopkins University and an amfAR grantee, detailed the case of a two-year-old child in Mississippi diagnosed with HIV at birth and immediately put on antiretroviral therapy. At 18 months, the child ceased taking antiretrovirals and was lost to follow-up. When brought back into care at 23 months, despite being off treatment for five months, the child was found to have an undetectable viral load. A battery of subsequent highly sensitive tests confirmed the absence of HIV.

Confirmation of the cure was made possible by a grant the Foundation awarded to Dr. Persaud and Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of the University of Massachusetts in September 2012. The grant allowed Drs. Persaud and Luzuriaga to establish a research collaboratory to explore and document possible pediatric HIV cure cases. The collaboratory includes renowned researchers Drs. Stephen Spector and Doug Richman at the University of California, San Diego; Dr. Frank Maldarelli at the National Cancer Institute; and Dr. Tae-Wook Chun at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"The child's pediatrician in Mississippi [Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi] was aware of the work we were doing, and quickly notified our team as soon as this young patient's case came to her attention," said Dr. Rowena Johnston, amfAR vice president and director of research. "Because the collaboratory was already in place, the researchers were able to mobilize immediately and perform the tests necessary to determine if this was in fact a case of a child being cured."

According to Dr. Persaud, comprehensive tests have confirmed beyond doubt that both mother and child were HIV positive when the child was born, and today no signs of HIV infection in the child can be detected by the most sensitive means available.

The only other documented case of an HIV cure to date remains that of Timothy Brown, the so-called "Berlin patient." In 2006, while on treatment for HIV, Mr. Brown was diagnosed with leukemia. His physician was able to treat his leukemia with a stem-cell transplant from a person who was born with a genetic mutation causing immunity to HIV infection. Following the transplant, Mr. Brown was able to stop HIV treatment without experiencing a return of his HIV disease.

This new case points to the tantalizing possibility that different populations of HIV-positive people might be cured in different ways. While Mr. Brown's case was the outcome of a complex, high-risk, and expensive series of procedures, this new case appears to have been the direct result of a comparatively inexpensive course of antiretroviral therapy.

"Given that this cure appears to have been achieved by antiretroviral therapy alone," said Dr. Johnston, "it is also imperative that we learn more about a newborn's immune system, how it differs from an adult's, and what factors made it possible for the child to be cured."

The Mississippi case also underscores the importance of identifying HIV-positive pregnant women, expanding access to treatment regimens than can prevent mother-to-child transmission, and of immediately putting infants on antiretroviral therapy in the event that they are born HIV positive.

"We are proud to have played a leading role in bringing this first pediatric HIV cure to light," said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. "The case is a startling reminder that a cure for HIV could come in ways we never anticipated, and we hope this is the first of many children cured of HIV in the months and years to come."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. "First documented case of child cured of HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130303172640.htm>.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. (2013, March 3). First documented case of child cured of HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130303172640.htm
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. "First documented case of child cured of HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130303172640.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Researchers Describe First 'functional HIV Cure' In an Infant

Mar. 4, 2013 A team of researchers describe the first case of a so-called "functional cure" in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV ... read more

Toddler 'functionally Cured' Of HIV Infection: Clues for Potentially Eliminating HIV Infection in Other Children

Mar. 4, 2013 A two-year-old child born with HIV infection and treated with antiretroviral drugs beginning in the first days of life no longer has detectable levels of virus using conventional testing despite not ... read more

Early Antiretroviral Treatment Reduces Viral Reservoirs in HIV-Infected Teens

Mar. 4, 2013 A new study highlights the long-term benefits of early antiretroviral therapy initiated in ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins