Second baby is HIV-free after early aggressive treatment

A second baby born with the AIDS virus may be in remission—and possibly cured—after heavy treatment only four hours after birth.

U.S. doctors made the announcement Wednesday Mar.5  at an AIDS conference in Los Angeles, raising hopes about early treatment that leads to a cure.

A leading researcher at the conference said there might be five more similar cases in Canada and three in South Africa.

The girl was born in Los Angeles April 2013, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi in which a baby born with HIV had the virus eradicated with aggressive treatment.

The Mississippi baby, now three and a half years old, is apparently healthy and HIV-free, despite no treatment for around two years.

Most HIV-infected mothers in the U.S. receive AIDS medicines, which significantly reduces the chances they will pass the virus to their babies.

The L.A. baby’s mother, who was infected with HIV and had not been taking  medications, was given AIDS drugs during labour in attempts to prevent transmission of the virus.

Tests later confirmed the baby positive for HIV, but appears to be free of the virus now, almost a year later. The baby is still receiving AIDS medicine, so researchers are still cautious about suggesting that the baby is cured.

The latest case was a medical breakthrough that has led doctors worldwide to re-evaluate how fast and hard to treat infants born with the AIDS virus.

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