LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Doctors at an AIDS conference in Boston Wednesday revealed that a baby girl born in Long Beach last April had her HIV status change without hours of her birth.
The girl was reportedly born HIV positive, but doctors said after about four hours, her blood work showed no sign of the virus. Six days later, they said her system was “cleared” of the virus.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports the case followed a similar case in Mississippi, which was a medical first.
Andrea Fujii, reporting for KCAL9, said the Mississippi case caused doctors around the world to rethink how to treat newborns with HIV. The California doctors followed the Mississippi doctors’ lead.
If a child is born with HIV and actively treated at birth with AIDS medications, there is a chance the virus could be eradicated, these two cases seem to indicate.
The Mississippi baby is reportedly now 3 1/2-years-old and HIV-negative. That baby has also not received AIDS drugs in more than two years.
The Los Angeles child is still on AIDS medicines, so her current status is unclear.
“We don’t know if the baby is in remission … but it looks like that,” said Dr. Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA who consulted on the girl’s care.
Fujii spoke with Bryson via Facetime.
“It’s the earliest I’ve ever seen the virus disappear,” she said. “The baby is still being treated, so it doesn’t mean she is cured, but at least the virus has disappeared. It means with early treatment, we might be able to nip the virus in the bud.”
The Long Beach toddler will be on AIDS medications for the next two years, Bryson said.
Steve Addison, who has been HIV-positive for 12 years, said this breakthrough is a hopeful sign.
“It’s optimistic and it’s great to see the forward advances,” Addison said. But still he added, “It’s not a cure.”
Bryson said the case involving the Long Beach baby will hopefully have implications for early detection in adults as well.