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Girl Thought Functionally Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Active Infection, Health Officials Report

Media sources report on the news that the Mississippi girl thought to be functionally cured of HIV infection now shows signs of viral rebound.

ABC News: Girl ‘Cured’ of HIV at Birth Now Has Virus, Doctors Say
“A girl believed to be ‘cured’ of HIV at birth now has detectable levels of the virus, health officials said today. The unnamed girl, dubbed the ‘Mississippi baby’ after being born to an HIV-positive mother in 2010 and quickly treated with an intense dose of antiretroviral medication, showed no signs of the virus for roughly four years, according to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases…” (Mohney, 7/10).

Agence France-Presse: Baby thought cleared of HIV has virus again
“…The girl’s story had raised hopes that doctors may have found a way to cure young children who are born HIV-positive, simply by giving them strong antiretroviral drugs shortly after birth…” (7/10).

Associated Press: Girl hoped to have been cured of HIV has relapsed
“…[O]n Thursday, doctors said they were surprised last week to find the virus in her blood, and there were signs that it was harming her immune system. She is now back on treatment and is responding well, they said…” (Marchione, 7/10).

New York Times: Evidence of HIV Found in a Child Said to Be Cured
“…The report in March 2013 that the child had apparently been cured raised the possibility that aggressive early treatment might be able to reverse infections in newborns — and perhaps even in newly infected adults…” (McNeil, 7/10).

NIH: “Mississippi Baby” Now Has Detectable HIV, Researchers Find
“…In light of the new findings, researchers must now work to better understand what enabled the child to remain off treatment for more than two years without detectable virus or measurable immunologic response and what might be done to extend the period of sustained HIV remission in the absence of antiretroviral therapy…” (7/10).

NPR: Mississippi Child Thought Cured Of HIV Shows Signs Of Infection
“…Based on the child’s story, the National Institutes of Health had planned a huge study involving more than 700 other HIV-infected newborns. The strategy is to treat them with a powerful drug combination at birth and, assuming they show no signs of infection, take them off drugs altogether at the age of two…” (Harris, 7/10).

Reuters: Mississippi baby thought cured of HIV no longer in remission
“…[NIAID Director Anthony] Fauci in May had announced plans to study more children using that same technique, but he will be taking a ‘hard look’ at the design of that study now…” (Steenhuysen, 7/10).

ScienceInsider: HIV Resurfaces in “Mississippi Baby” Many Presumed Cured
“…After the girl went 27 months with no detectable virus in her blood, the sobering news ‘felt very much like a punch to the gut,’ said her pediatrician, Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, who spoke at a media teleconference [Thursday]…” (Cohen, 7/10).

Scientific American: HIV detected in ‘cured’ Mississippi Baby, Creating Huge AIDS Therapy Setback
“…Currently, there are no guidelines about how HIV-positive infants should be treated — whether with an aggressive early drug treatment or with prophylaxis. The [planned] study aims to help answer that question…” (Maron, 7/10).

USA TODAY: HIV infection returns in Mississippi girl thought cured
“…From the beginning, experts noted that the girl’s story was unique — involving a string of unusual events — and wouldn’t immediately lead to a cure for the 34 million people living with HIV worldwide…” (Szabo, 7/10).