Is The Baby Cured? 

The BBC News analysis (http://goo.gl/D6W9e) of this morning’s new story about a baby “cured” of HIV infection gets it exactly right. All the news reports make it clear that the child still carries the HIV virus (as integrated proviruses presumably), and even though it is not currently “active”, we do not know what the future holds for this child.

It is possible to cure HIV infection, as in the case of the “Berlin patient” (Long-Term Control of HIV by CCR5 Delta32/Delta32 Stem-Cell Transplantation”. N Engl J Med 360 (7): 692–698. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0802905 http://goo.gl/f6Exg), but we will not know the fate of this case until years have elapsed and the peer reviewed science has been published.

#MicrobiologyBytes

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3 Responses to Is The Baby Cured? 

  1. Reports of 'HIV cure' are premature: http://bit.ly/YJQ35e (and lousy journalism)

  2. Ann Onny says:

    Thank you so much. First reasonable discussion of this case I have heard. Love the blog!

  3. Yes, it’s definitely a reasonable discussion here. Skeptics believe that this story of the cure child is not really conclusive. They say that the baby – although at high risk for contracting the virus from her mother – was not actually infected. This story shows no actual proof that the baby girl was indeed born with the virus. On the other hand it mentions that the child, being at high risk of infection, was placed on treatment even before laboratory investigations had been done. That being said, doctors agree that the child was most likely infected, so it remains a story of hope :)

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