Functional HIV healing in newborns

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Miraculous "functional healing" in babies is confirmed

Already in spring there was an astonishing news about a baby that his HIV infection had been cured. A US medical officer reported at a congress that a baby had been released from his illness. By giving several drugs, the doctor had pushed the dangerous virus below the detection limit. Many experts were very skeptical about this statement. From a scientific point of view, observations had to be made to make no hasty claims.

The fate of the girl has now been reported in one of the most renowned journals in the world, the New England Journal of Medicine, and scientists have been unable to detect any viruses even after stopping the medication. In this case one can speak of a “functional healing”

The now 30-month-old Mississippi girl was infected with the HIV virus in her mother's womb and received three antiretroviral drugs within 30 hours of birth. Such an aggressive combination therapy is actually started at the earliest at the age of 30 months. When examined after 29 days, no HI viruses were detectable

When the girl was 18 months old, the doctors lost contact with the patient for five months. At this point at the latest, the mother stopped taking the medication on her own. To the amazement of the doctors, the girl had no evidence of the infection

This cannot be a coincidence. The observations suggest that the child's recovery "is probably the result of very early aggressive antiviral therapy," said virologist Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The treatment prevented the HI virus from nesting in the child's immune cells.

Extensive study to take place Now, a federally funded study is to start at the beginning of 2014, in which the early aggressive therapy in newborns is to be investigated on a larger scale. Infection of the baby can actually be prevented in 98 percent of cases by treating pregnant mothers. Nevertheless, more than 260,000 children are born every year who have been infected with HIV in their womb.

These cases are particularly common in developing countries, and there is only one case that has been cured of AIDS. The US citizen Timothy Brown was treated in Berlin by a bone marrow transplant and went down in medical history as the "Berlin patient". Two other patients were treated in Boston with a similar procedure, with encouraging results. All three men had bone marrow donations as a result of leukemia, the course of which had a positive effect on the disease. However, this risky and time-consuming transplant is not an option for all those infected with HIV. (fr)

Image: Dieter Hopf /

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