A 9-year-old child who was diagnosed with HIV when he was just one month old is now reported to be free of the infection. This rare case of completely wiping out the virus that causes AIDS is promising for all patients with HIV and infectious diseases.
Eight-and-a-half years after initial treatment, the child shows no signs of infection, adding another piece to the puzzle of eliminating human immunodeficiency virus. The child now has had a healthy immune system.
Researchers believe aggressive treatment soon after infection could enable long-term remission of the disease – which, if it lasts, would be a form of cure for the deadly virus.
“The fact that you can go so long without a rebound shows that it is possible to suppress the virus. It gives us hope that we may be able to do the same in more than just children,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
Usually, an HIV-positive patient begins with on antiretroviral drugs, known as ART, to treat them for the rest of their lives. But now, doctors have proof that the life-long treatment may no longer be necessary. This is a huge milestone that can possibly lead to breakthroughs for adults who have been infected as well.