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DETROIT (WWJ) – Is it a new hope for a cure?
Doctors in Mississippi say a baby born with HIV is now two years old and shows no signs of the disease. Elizabeth Secord is a doctor at Children’s Hospital in Detroit and says she has not seen such a cure yet here.
“Most of us are waiting to see the actual report and to see what they mean – the report I read said there may be some traces of HIV proteins in the blood … I’m not sure exactly what they mean by that. We’re withholding judgement until we see the whole report,” Secord said.
The real excitement said Secord was in the late 80s when the medical community said it was possible to greatly reduce an infants risk for contracting HIV from their mother. Meanwhile she notes that the use of three drugs for the treatment of high risk newborns is unusual but it sounds like a good idea.
“We see the most kids in Michigan – we have the largest population of kids with HIV – they don’t turn HIV negative,” said Secord. “They do get undetectable viral loads and become healthy and lead full lives with the chronic disease but they don’t usually become negative.”
“This is secondary and it’s very nice – those cases that are high risk – that means that the mother didn’t know she had HIV or didn’t take treatment during the pregnancy. So those high risk cases maybe we can intervene.”
Secord says they’ve had 30 expectant moms come into the hospital in recent months who are HIV positive.