Baby cured of HIV has medical professionals hopeful

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - There's a new found sense of hope in the medical field now that a child infected with the HIV Virus has been functionally cured. To be functionally cured means that tests show no traces of replicating HIV cells, even if there's a small amount of the virus remaining in the body.

"We have to keep our hopes kind of in check. This will take a study, a series of studies to see if this new regimen will be beneficial for all children. But it does offer real hope for the future," Dr. David Reeves said.

When the toddler was born two years ago, her mother was HIV positive. The mother didn't take any prenatal care for the disease, so doctors knew the child would be a high risk case.

"When the baby is born, the standard care is we start the baby on two anti-HIV medications for a period of time until we can see if those medications clear. Because this baby had absolutely no prenatal care and we didn't even know about the diagnosis of HIV until the child was three days of age, Dr. Gay decided to be very aggressive. Instead of using just two anti-HIV drugs, she used three," Reeve's said.

That aggressive treatment is what doctors believe may have changed the baby's fate. The case has made history and put a lot of eyes on Mississippi. Something Dr. Reeves said is a nice change of pace for the state

"We have the reputation for being the sickest state. The fattest state. The people, who seek healthcare the least, but actually we do some very good things in Mississippi. And I'm very proud of the work that the University Medical Center, the department of Pediatrics has done in this and in other cases," Reeves said.

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