Health Community Abuzz with Story on HIV Baby Story

We gathered all the news so you can sit back, relax, and read how awesome this story and UMass Medical Center are.


UMass Medical Center photo via Facebook

Doctors announced on Sunday that a baby was cured of HIV for first time by using an aggressive early treatment strategy. The baby was born in rural Mississippi, and treated with antiretroviral drugs starting around 30 hours after birth, which according to researchers, is not something that is not usually done. The toddler is now two and a half years old and doesn’t need any HIV medication. This news is obviously huge, and will change the way infected babies are treated around the world. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center reported their findings Monday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta. It’s wonderful that a Massachusetts hospital is at the center of the story. The Globe called UMass Med School a rising star last May.

This is the second case of a reported “cure” for HIV, and the first for a baby. The first case was Timothy Brown, a man in his 40s known as “the Berlin patient” who had both leukemia and HIV and received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor genetically resistant to HIV infection. Brown has been off of antiretrovirals for more than five years. But his case is not without controversy. In July 2012, ABC News wrote:

Steven Yuki at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the scientists who’d tested Brown’s samples, expressed doubts during a June 8 talk at the International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Virus in Sitges, Spain.

“There are some signals of the virus, and we don’t know if they are real or contamination,” Yuki said in June, “and, at this point, we can’t say for sure whether there’s been complete eradication of HIV.”

The news of the baby cured of HIV is also not without controversy. The Globe reported today that:

Some outside experts, who have not yet heard all the details, said they needed convincing that the baby had truly been infected. If not, this would be a case of prevention, something already done for babies born to infected mothers.

“The one uncertainty is really definitive evidence that the child was indeed infected,’’ said Dr. Daniel R. Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Hopefully this will change the way HIV is treated in babies and perhaps lead researchers to a cure. And of course, news of this magnitude is something that every media outlet in the world will pick up on—and pretty much already has, as evidenced by these 25 headlines:

1. Child Functionally Cured of HIV [ABC News]

2. A Baby Now Free of HIV Has Doctors Talking About a Cure [NBC News]

3. HIV Baby Cured: What This Means For Patient Treatment [The Telegraph]

4. Baby With HIV is Reportedly Cured [NY Times]

5. Baby Born with HIV is Reported Cured with Aggressive Drug Treatment [The Washington Post]

6. Baby Born with HIV is Now Apparently Free of Virus, Scientists Say [Fox News]

7. Baby Cured of HIV for First Time, Researchers Say [The Wall Street Journal]

8. U.S. Baby’s HIV Infection Cured Though Very Early Treatment [Reuters]

9. Baby Born with HIV Apparently Cured, Scientists Say [Huffington Post]

10. HIV Drug Infusion Apparently Cures Baby [SF Gate]

11. U.S. HIV Baby Cured By Early Drug Treatment [BBC]

12. A Baby Has Been Cured of HIV [Gizmodo]

13. U.S. Scientists Cure HIV Baby [Bangkok Post]

14. Early Treatment May Have Cured Baby’s HIV Infection [Science Mag]

15. HIV Hope: Baby Cured With Early Mega-Dose of Treatment [Mirror]

16. HIV Positive Baby Cured with Conventional Drug Therapy [RT]

17. Baby born With HIV is Cured [Gawker]

18. U.S. Scientists Say Baby Born With HIV is Cured [Al Jazeera]

19. Breakthrough Hailed as Radical Treatment Works on Baby Born HIV-positive in Atlanta [The Independent]

20. UN Welcomes News of HIV Baby Who Appears to be Cured By Treatment [UN]

21. HIV Baby Cured [NY Post]

22. HIV Baby Cured with Triple Blast of Drugs [New Scientist]

23. US Doctors cure Child Born With HIV [Guardian]

24. Doctors Cure an HIV Baby: What it Means in the Fight Against AIDS [The Week]

25. Baby With HIV is Cured, Doctors Say [Live Science]