HIV Returns in Girl Previously "Cured" of the Disease

HIV Returns in Girl Previously "Cured" of the Disease

HIV Virus 2 310x

The four-year old girl born with HIV was believed cured a year ago, but the latest tests reveal the virus has returned.

A year ago, a Mississippi girl was the marvel of the medical community for being the first child born with HIV to be "cured" of the disease. As early as this past March, the child had appeared free of the disease, but tests conducted on her last week have shown the disease has reemerged.

Doctors are not yet certain how the virus reemerged in the girl, referred to as the "Mississippi baby," which disappeared under equally unusual circumstances. She began a regimen of powerful medication for her HIV just a few hours after her birth, and continued to receive treatments until she was 18 months old, at which point doctors could not find her. Reappearing five months later, doctors could find no sign of the disease in her. The girl's mother admitted to not giving her daughter HIV medication in the intervening months either.

Since then, she had not required HIV treatments for two years. In most cases of HIV, if treatment stops then the virus typically reemerges from hiding places within the body, referred to as "reservoirs," typically located in the brain and stomach.

Doctors had been hoping the case of the "Mississippi baby" could lead to a breakthrough in the early treatment of HIV, but now they're obviously reevaluating their findings. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had been hoping the case of the young girl could be used in an upcoming federal HIV study in the U.S. "We're going to take a good hard look at the study and see if it needs any modifications," the BBC quoted him as saying earlier this week.

While the return of HIV in the girl is obviously a tragedy, there is still some good news. "The prolonged lack of viral rebound, in the absence of HIV-specific immune responses, suggests that the very early therapy not only kept this child clinically well, but also restricted the number of cells harboring HIV infection," said Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, in a press release on the topic from the National Institutes of Health.

A second American child had been "functionally cured" of HIV earlier this year.That child, a baby girl in Los Angeles born in April 2013, had her disease put into remission using a regimen of medication including AZT, 3TC and nevirapine, which began almost immediately after birth.

Source: BBC, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

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Well, that's a bumber. Honestly if we do cure this virus once and for all I'd be amazed, but I also know just how hard that would be so I'm not holding out hope of it happening any time soon.

Dammit.

It's hard not to feel really angry at the mother in this case.

Incurable disease remains incurable. Hell of a headline there.

I generally find with "miracle cure" stories like this that it is usually that the so called "cured" either never had sufficient testing to be sure they had the disease to begin with OR has not had sufficient confirmation that the disease has gone. When you see things like parent's not administering treatment or avoiding hospitals that's definitely a danger sign for misinformation.

It goes to show that jumping to the miraculous too early is a recipe for disappointment. It's a real shame that this didn't turn out as well as I'm sure everybody hoped.

Not is this a bummer that this cure turned out to not work, but I believe that implies the idea that the virus is more aggressive and adaptive than expected...

So that being the case, I seriously hope those doctors are monitoring the girl on a frequent basis. I'm not gonna be tasteless and imply she's gonna create some kind of supervirus due to this, but the possibility that it's changed or altered is something I hope those doctors are analyzing. The best-worst cast scenario is that the treatment didn't DO anything rather than it affected the virus and the virus responded.

Two steps forward, one step back.

There will be a cure eventually but it looks like it just got set back by a few years. Whenever someone says that something is guaranteed to not happen it is inevitable that sooner or later said thing will happen. The Titanic being the most famous example

Parenting isn't for everybody.

Kyogissun:
Not is this a bummer that this cure turned out to not work, but I believe that implies the idea that the virus is more aggressive and adaptive than expected...

So that being the case, I seriously hope those doctors are monitoring the girl on a frequent basis. I'm not gonna be tasteless and imply she's gonna create some kind of supervirus due to this, but the possibility that it's changed or altered is something I hope those doctors are analyzing. The best-worst cast scenario is that the treatment didn't DO anything rather than it affected the virus and the virus responded.

It does give the impression that the virus almost went into hiding with a "I'll be back" and "you think you got rid of me did you?"

If it is adapting to the antiretroviral treatments this might hold some serious and worrying implications for the people that have done well with the long term treatment suppressing the virus, if it adapted in this patient there is the possibility the same could happen for others.

Sigh. Makes you wonder what would've happened if the treatment had continued as was planned rather than what the mother did. I mean, assuming you can keep up the therapy even longer and - in cell turnover - clear all or most of the reservoirs, perhaps an actual cure of HIV-infected babies would be possible? Then again I wouldn't be too surprised if it had returned even if the treatment had run its complete course. Later than it did, probably, but still.

BlameTheWizards:
and continued to receive treatments until she was 18 months old, at which point doctors could not find her.

EDITORS

Y U NO GOOD AT YOUR JOB

I really hope it goes better for the second baby. ;__;

lacktheknack:

BlameTheWizards:
and continued to receive treatments until she was 18 months old, at which point doctors could not find her.

EDITORS

Y U NO GOOD AT YOUR JOB

I really hope it goes better for the second baby. ;__;

Hopefully, that child's parents are better with the treatment.

To expand on the article. The "reservoirs" mentioned in the article simply refers to HIV's ability to splice copies of itself directly its victims DNA. In this way it is able to effectively "hide" from treatments designed to kill it, to later emerge when treatment ceases. The location of said splicing is seemingly random and can have any number of other effects (or none at all) depending on location but will most often affect genes associated with cell growth.

This makes me so sad. The hope that was put on this little girl, and of course the girl herself... it just breaks my heart. I do hope some good can come of this, something to take from this.

Poor thing. :(

I guess all those "thank you" prayers to god were a little premature. All those involved just weren't praying HARD enough or the almighty sky wizard was distracted helping a sports team.

Nurb:
Poor thing. :(

I guess all those "thank you" prayers to god were a little premature. All those involved just weren't praying HARD enough or the almighty sky wizard was distracted helping a sports team.

Pfsh, quit being so behind the times. Obviously, the problem is that the sky wizard didn't get enough likes on Facebook.

OT: Well, that's a bummer. I hope medicine can use this experience to further advance the fight against this virus, though.

Nurb:
Poor thing. :(

I guess all those "thank you" prayers to god were a little premature. All those involved just weren't praying HARD enough or the almighty sky wizard was distracted helping a sports team.

I think you are very edgy, and I admire how you go against societal norms by daring to be anti-religious in an internet forum.

 

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