New research shows promise for adults with HIV - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New research shows promise for adults with HIV

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(WMC-TV) - New research on HIV became available Friday as a dozen adult patients with the virus out of Paris, France were functionally cured. The new research shows promise for HIV adult patients.

Not too long ago, the medical community in the Mid-South was celebrating a similar victory. Researchers around the world and in Memphis applauded what they called great news earlier in March as doctors deemed that a Mississippi baby was functionally cured of the HIV virus.

A child treated 30 days after birth at Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi,became the first known case of an HIV cure in the infant in the world.

"The child has not redeveloped what we call replication competent virus, so her virus has not come back into the blood and started replicating again. Therefore, she doesn't need the therapy," said pediatric HIV specialist Hannah Gay.

The common belief is the infant was treated early and aggressively.

"What I think is the baby's reservoirs were not developed at the time of infection," said UT Health Science Center Ph.D. John K. Buolamwini

Gay said the baby's virus did not have the chance to seed hiding places.

"So she stayed on therapy long enough to suppress the replication out in the active cells in the blood," said Gay.

The outcome in Mississippi gave researchers hope for treating other infected babies.

"I think there's a great implication worldwide for the hundreds of thousand of babies born in places where there is no prenatal care," said UMMC specialist Dr. Leandro Mena.

It was announced Friday that in Paris, France, 14 adult HIV patients are functionally cured after receiving antiretroviral medication within ten weeks of infection.

The patients stopped treatment, on average, about three years later and scientists said the virus shows no signs of rebounding.

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