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Young girl that was 'cured' of HIV has relapsed, doctors report

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

A young girl in Mississippi, who was believed to have been cured of the human immunodeficiency virus (more commonly known as H.I.V.) at birth, is now showing signs of having the virus, despite aggressive drug treatments.

In March 2013, a report done by The New York Times outlined the possibility that a newborn treated immediately and heavily was cured of the disease shortly after birth. Over 2.3 million people internationally were infected with H.I.V. in 2012, which is the latest data available. Almost 260,000 of those newly infected individuals were newborns or young infants.

The young girl ceased her medication regime when doctors were unable to locate a trace of the H.I.V. virus in her system when she was two years old. Small traces of the disease have appeared in a routine doctor appointment in the (now) 4-year-old, reports the Utah People's Post.

"Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child’s care, and the HIV/AIDS research community," said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. "Scientifically, this development reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body."

Despite the recurrence, doctors are still hopeful regarding the future of H.I.V. treatments and the fact that the girl was able to stay off her H.I.V. medication for two years. It is a small victory, even in the face of negativity.

 
 

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