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9 Year-Old Child Born With HIV Is Now Free Of Infection

A child’s HIV is in remission without medication. Could this mean we are closer to a cure?

9 Year-Old Child Born With HIV Is Now Free Of Infection

On the opening day of the 2017International AIDS Conference in Paris, researchers presented a stunning case: a 9-year-old South African child who had been born with HIV wasnow free of the infection. The child, who remains unnamed to protect confidentiality, was part of a trial of 143 babies with HIV all given 40 weeks of antiretroviral medication beginning at 32 days old. By 40 weeks, the baby’s immune system did not show any symptoms of HIV and was the only child to exhibit such results.

Researchers were cautiously optimistic as this result harked back to the brief success of the “Mississippi Baby,” who had been treated for HIV infection after her birth in 2010 until 18 months old. A year after stopping the medication, they still could not detect the HIV virus in her blood. But their celebrations were short-lived. By 2014, the virus had rebounded, as it often does. The South African child, in contrast, remains HIV free almost a decade later.

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