A US toddler who was thought to have been cured from HIV has been found to still harbour the virus.
The Mississipi toddler, who had received aggressive treatment at birth and subsequent HIV therapy, had shown no HIV in her blood, even when she had not received treatment for two years and three months, raising hopes that she had been cured of HIV. Tests done by her doctors early this month, however, showed that the toddler had detectable levels of HIV.
While her remission is said to have dashed the hopes of US doctors, doctors from Baylor Uganda, who say they have also recorded functional cures as that of the US toddler, had previously said they were cautious about declaring cures, and will, therefore, not have their hopes dashed.
“We have noted cases where children who were started on ARVs cleared the virus from their blood but those children are still HIV-positive. The virus hides and can replicate should drugs be discontinued,” one doctor said.
According to the minister of Health, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, 15,000 babies were born with HIV in 2013. A cure at birth would, therefore, be good news to Uganda.
Source : The Observer