A 3-year-old Mississippi child born with HIV and treated with a combination of antiviral drugs unusually early continues to do well and remains free of active infection 18 months after all treatment ceased, according to an updated case report published Oct. 23 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Early findings of the case were presented in March 2013 during a scientific meeting in Atlanta, but the newly published report adds detail and confirms what researchers say is the first documented case of HIV remission in a child.
“Our findings suggest that this child’s remission is not a mere fluke but the likely result of aggressive and very early therapy that may have prevented the virus from taking a hold in the child’s immune cells,” says Deborah Persaud, M.D., lead author of the NEJM report and a virologist and pediatric HIV expert at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Persaud teamed up with immunologist Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and pediatrician Hannah Gay, M.D., of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who identified and treated the baby and continues to see the child.
“We’re thrilled that the child remains off medication and has no detectable virus replicating,” Gay says. “We’ve continued to follow the child, obviously, and she continues to do very well. There is no sign of the return of HIV, and we will continue to follow her for the long term.”
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—University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Public Affairs