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Ear to the Ground

Child Born With HIV Still Shows No Sign of Infection

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Posted on Oct 24, 2013
NIAID (CC BY 2.0)

A child diagnosed with HIV at birth “is still showing no detectable levels of the virus in her blood, despite finishing antiretroviral treatment … 18 months ago,” The Independent reports.

The child, a 3-year-old born in Mississippi, contracted the virus in the womb. She received treatment to fight the infection within 30 hours of her birth and through the first 18 months of her life.

In March scientists in Atlanta announced that the child was no longer infectious. The case has caused some scientists to wonder if she actually contracted HIV in the womb. “Evidence printed in the report suggests the child was indeed infected whilst in utero, highlighting a sample taken 30 hours after her birth that contained HIV-1DNA, and a later sample that had a substantial amount of HIV RNA, needed to assign a HIV positive diagnosis,” The Independent said.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Independent:

A report published by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday shows the girl is still showing no detectable levels of the virus in her blood, despite her treatment stopping 18 months ago.

Her case drew widespread attention in March when it was revealed that her mother had stopped collecting prescriptions for the infant’s medication when she was 15 months old, and told doctors she had not given the child any medication since 18 months of age.

Doctors expecting to find that the child’s viral load was back up since her treatment ended were shocked to find that her plasma level of HIV-1 RNA remained undetectable.

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