AIDS researchers and global health community ponder a reported cure
Monday, March 11, 2013
AIDS researchers, advocacy organizations and global health officials spent Monday trying to determine whether the report that a baby girl born in Mississippi was cured of the infection is a therapeutic breakthrough or a scientific curiosity.
Even if the report proves true, aggressive HIV treatment starting at birth has no obvious relevance to adults, who are by far the biggest age group infected each year. Even in newborns it may be of little practical use, as nearly all mother-to-child infections can be prevented by a simpler strategy that isn’t yet fully implemented around the world.
At the same time, news of a cured patient — the girl, now 21/2, would be only the second on record — has caught the world’s eye. Scientists are confident that even if the case isn’t a signpost to the future, it is of great importance right now.
- Health Care