Second Baby Born with HIV is Cured, Expanded Trials to Follow

Second Baby Born with HIV is Cured, Expanded Trials to Follow

Doctors will try similar treatment in 50 more babies later this year.

HIV Virus 2 310x

A second American baby born HIV-positive has been "functionally cured" of the disease, according to the doctors treating the child.

The news was revealed during an AIDS conference (via The New York Times) in Boston yesterday, one year after doctors announced the first such remission/cure case in a Mississippi child. The second baby girl was born in Los Angeles in April 2013, and while doctors are hesitant to use the term "completely cured," words like remission and HIV-negative are being used instead. The treatment of the babies involved high doses of AZT, 3TC and nevirapine, and the regimen is started almost immediately after birth. Dr. Audra Deveikis started the treatment on the second baby only four hours after she was born.

"Of course I had worries," said Dr. Deveikis. "But the mother's disease was not under control, and I had to weigh the risk of transmission against the toxicity of the meds."

With two remission cases in the US, and another five possible cases in Canada and South Africa, doctors are now pushing forward with an expanded trial that will see up to 50 HIV-positive babies treated in similar fashion. With the number of HIV-positive babies born in the US lower than other regions of the world, the trial will also loop in doctors and patients in South Africa and Brazil.

The first US case of HIV remission in a child, born in Mississippi, has proven to be a long-term success. The child is now three-and-a-half years old, and is still HIV-negative.

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This is incredible news. FOR SCIENCE!

Here's hoping the trials are a success.

Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

Avaholic03:
Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

you are way too cynical about the state of medicine today.

So, naturally, because you're not scientists, you get to wave the word "cured" around in the headlines like it happened already?

NuclearKangaroo:

Avaholic03:
Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

you are way too cynical about the state of medicine today.

Seeing as other advancements in medicine haven't exactly taken off (as they would be far less profitable), you can't exactly blame him. However, I think this one will happen, seeing as it would probably hurt them more than help to stop curing HIV.

Luminous_Umbra:

NuclearKangaroo:

Avaholic03:
Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

you are way too cynical about the state of medicine today.

Seeing as other advancements in medicine haven't exactly taken off (as they would be far less profitable), you can't exactly blame him. However, I think this one will happen, seeing as it would probably hurt them more than help to stop curing HIV.

such as?

Avaholic03:
Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

You are way too cynical about the state of medicine today.

The thing about "Big Pharma" is that the possibility of getting the patent rights on a vaccine or cure for a deadly disease is kind of like the pharmaceutical equivalent of being given exclusive rights to a whole flock of geese laying golden eggs for 25 years. While AIDS suppressants might be profitable, the potential profit of being the exclusive provider of the cure is far, far higher. You'd be the only company allowed to market it and every first world country would be lining up to do business with you, at pretty much any cost below the (exceedingly high) long term cost of suppressing AIDS.

TL DR: Being the first company to market an approved cure for AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimer's or any other incurable, lethal disease is the equivalent of Big Pharma heaven. It is the kind of market edge that will make your company the leading pharmaceutical company in the world for the next two decades at least. Compared to those potential profits the profits from AIDS suppressants or cytostatic drugs are peanuts.

Hmmm, I was quite sure AIDS would never be "cured" because the so-called AIDS cocktail was effective (and profitable) enough in just treating the disease. It would be pretty awesome if they did effectively cure it, but somehow I doubt that will happen. Big pharma isn't about to eliminate a huge market like AIDS the way they did when they cured polio.

Or maybe I'm just way to cynical about the state of medicine today.

When my father was told he had throat cancer the doctor told him chemo was an option, or he could go with one of a 'number' of experimental drugs. In the end he settled on chemo and now he's in remission. So, in the end he decided 'against' a drug centric treatment!!

This is wonderful news.

I do think that people are very cynical of Big Pharma. Yes, I will be the first to admit it loves to market cures to non-diseases, but you also have to remember that these companies are also comprised of people.

Someone brought up polio. This is fairly off-topic, but Jonas Salk (inventor of the polio vaccine) is a personal hero of mine for his opposition to restricting access to new medicines.

"Would you patent the sun?" -Jonas Salk

odolwa99:

When my father was told he had throat cancer the doctor told him chemo was an option, or he could go with one of a 'number' of experimental drugs. In the end he settled on chemo and now he's in remission. So, in the end he decided 'against' a drug centric treatment!!

Chemo is drug treatment too, albeit a pretty special form of drug treatment. Had your father gone with radiation only (usually not an option during throat cancer) then he'd have chosen a non-drug centric treatment, but as the case was he only chose which drug treatment seemed better to him.

Great positive step for the children of tomorrow.

Thank you for posting this, it has brought me much joy.

Incredible that they are finding a way to tackle HIV for newborn babies. Any forward step on this should be celebrated!

Is the treatment ineffective against adults or is there some other reason they're not applying the regimen against adults with HIV?

I'm legitimately curious - and not trying to downplay the amazing step forward of being able to treat HIV-positive infants!

Mortuorum:
Is the treatment ineffective against adults or is there some other reason they're not applying the regimen against adults with HIV?

I'm legitimately curious - and not trying to downplay the amazing step forward of being able to treat HIV-positive infants!

This baby was treated about 30 minutes after birth, something that's normally not done, and it was successful. The first person to ever be recorded as having HIV cured for them was a middle-aged man named Timothy Brown who was living in Berlin, Germany and after receiving a bone marrow transplant was cured. So for the case of the babies it was probably a different procedure.

As for the effects, children's immune systems are still developing so the chance for treatment probably has a better chance of working than in an adult whose immune system is already fully developed.

OT: Here's to the hope that the method works on other children as well and that eventually a cure can be made.

Mortuorum:
Is the treatment ineffective against adults or is there some other reason they're not applying the regimen against adults with HIV?

I'm legitimately curious - and not trying to downplay the amazing step forward of being able to treat HIV-positive infants!

Well I know literally nothing about it but based on how quickly they go into the treatment it's likely they're taking advantage of the rapid development in children, probably wouldn't work on the much slower pace of development in adults.

xmbts:

Mortuorum:
Is the treatment ineffective against adults or is there some other reason they're not applying the regimen against adults with HIV?

I'm legitimately curious - and not trying to downplay the amazing step forward of being able to treat HIV-positive infants!

Well I know literally nothing about it but based on how quickly they go into the treatment it's likely they're taking advantage of the rapid development in children, probably wouldn't work on the much slower pace of development in adults.

Not exactly, my understanding is that the treatment works because it hits the virus with multiple drugs with different methods of action (making it very unlikely that resistance to all of them will be present) before HIV manages to establish itself in the patient's lymphocytes. It is entirely possible that the same treatment would work for an adult, however treating an adult so soon after initial infection is nigh impossible.

Including that guy from a few years ago, that makes three confirmed cases of "we've cured AIDS/HIV". Things are looking up.

 

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