A South African HIV-positive child has been without antiretroviral treatment for almost nine years and is healthy‚ with only trace amounts of the virus in their body.
This was announced on Monday morning at the International Aids Society conference in Paris.
The child‚ whose gender has not been revealed‚ was part of a US National Institutes of Health-funded study and the South African part of the trial was headed by Dr Avy Violari‚ head of paediatric research at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at Wits University.
Violari told TimesLIVE it was “very exciting” to be part of the research.
In 2008‚ the baby was diagnosed as HIV-positive at 32 days old and put on antiretroviral treatment about 9 weeks after birth.
Then the child was taken off treatment at 40 weeks old‚ along with 125 babies in the international study on the early treatment of babies.
The child has not required medication ever since.
Before treatment at 9 weeks old‚ the child had high levels of HIV in the blood.
Now the virus is not replicating and researchers can only find trace amounts of the virus in the immune system and a tiny immune response to HIV.
“To our knowledge‚ this is the first reported case of sustained control of HIV in a child enrolled in a randomized trial of anti-retroviral treatment interruption following treatment early in infancy‚” said Violari.
A child known as “the Mississippi baby” started treatment 48 hours after birth and the mother stopped her treatment at 18 months. The child managed without treatment for 27 months.