A 9-year-old , African boy, who was born with the HIV virus was treated with antiretroviral medication as a baby for 40 days and is reported to be free of the infection now that he is older. The new study is now giving scientists hope to get rid of AIDS virus for good. Experts said Monday around 37,000,000 million people are living with the virus Globally.Researchers say they hope to learn from the case of the child, born in South Africa, to save others from having to take powerful daily medication as they are growing up and for the rest of their lives.
Further study is needed to learn how to induce long-term HIV remission in infected babies,” said Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded the study of babies born with HIV of which the child was part nine years ago.“However, this new case strengthens our hope that by treating HIV-infected children for a brief period beginning in infancy, we may be able to spare them the burden of lifelong therapy and the health consequences of long-term immune activation typically associated with HIV disease.”
The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.
Within a few weeks of HIV infection, flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and fatigue can occur. Then the disease is usually asymptomatic until it progresses to AIDS. AIDS symptoms include weight loss, fever or night sweats, fatigue, and recurrent infections.No cure exists for AIDS, but strict adherence to anti-retroviral regimens (ARVs) can dramatically slow the disease's progress as well as prevent secondary infections and complications.
This is really the first step toward HIV remission and a cure,” said Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. “Understanding the factors that came into play to lead to this outcome is really going to inform science.”Out of the millions of children worldwide who are HIV-positive, the child, now 9, is one of only three who have been identified by scientists as having the ability to stop the virus from resurging for an extended period of time.