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The Power of Two

Promising Discovery for HIV Infants

Published May 1, 2014 2:53 PM by Eleanor Wolfram

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a slow replicating retrovirus that causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AID). According to the CDC “HIV transmission from other to child during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or breastfeeding is known as prenatal transmission and is the most common route in children”.

The good news is that the federal agency states that even though the increase in the number of women with HIV giving birth, the number of perinatal HIV infections per year continues to fall.

Pharmaceutical Approach

There is additional good news from the pharmaceutical arena. Several media sources report that over the past several months, there are been two infants with the virus that have gone into remission. The remission is attributed to a HIV medication treatment regime of an anti-retroviral drug cocktail given to the babies shortly after they were born. Upon laboratory analysis, only fragments of the virus remains.

Unique Physiological Makeup of Babies

The HIV medication approach generally used to suppress the virus in infected older patients, was also was used in both of the infant cases. Continued medication use is encouraged for all of the patients, because when patients are taken off the, the virus returns.  But is seems that one of the infants born in Mississippi for reason not clear had been taken off the drug and upon later examination and lab test the virus seemed to have disappeared.

Because researchers are not sure if the remission is due to the individual unique ongoing research continues before definitive conclusions can be made of the cause of the remissions.

It should be noted that the medical team are being very careful and cautious making labeling theses cases as cures. But at least the two infant cases reveal that there may be some promise regarding the treatment of HIV beginning at the infant stage.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


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