Monday, July 14, 2014
HIV re-emerges in 'cured' Mississippi girl
Tests last week on the four-year-old child from Mississippi indicate she is no longer in remission, say doctors.
She had appeared free of HIV as recently as March, without receiving treatment for nearly two years.
The news represents a setback for hopes that very early treatment of drugs may reverse permanent infection.
There was huge hope that the "Mississippi baby" would live a life free of the HIV.
Antiretroviral drugs can keep the virus in check in the bloodstream, but HIV has hiding places - known as reservoirs - in the gut and brain.
If treatment stops, then the virus emerges from its reservoirs and begins its assault afresh.
Doctors had hoped that starting drug treatment within hours of birth would prevent the reservoirs forming.
This seems not to have been the case.
This case was never going to lead to an HIV-cure for infected adults, who begin treatment months or years after infection.
The Mississippi baby has become a reminder of how difficult HIV is to defeat and how distant a cure really is.bbc