Doctors believe they've cured a toddler with HIV

Fresno, Calif.

More testing must be done to confirm their results, but doctors across the country call it a medical breakthrough.

Dr. Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi Medical Center said, "We have, perhaps inadvertently, but in fact, cured the child."

Dr. Hannah gay is an associate professor in the Blair E. Batson Specialty Clinic. She treated the infant. The hospital can't give details about the child's Identity but Gay says the baby is from the Mississippi area, born to a Mother with HIV.

"This was a case where prevention fell through the cracks," Gay said.

The baby did not get any treatment until thirty hours after it was born. Because of the late start, Dr. Gay decided to treat the child with three different drugs at once as soon as the child arrived at the hospital. But after a year, doctors say the mother just stopped giving the baby medicine.

"After the baby missed several appointments we started looking for her," Gay said.

When UMC tracked the baby down, Gay ran tests to see the HIV levels in the child's body, but the tests found no trace of the virus.

"My first thought was to panic. I thought 'oh my goodness. I have been treating a child that's not actually infected,'" Gay said.

Doctors spent weeks double checking lab work and everything showed the child did have HIV at birth.

That's when a team of doctors from The University of Massachusetts Medical School And Johns Hopkins Children's Center joined the case.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of the University of Mass. Medical School said, "I think we were both incredibly surprised."

"Now it will be up to a team of researchers to find out if what happened at UMC can happen again and if indeed a cure for HIV was discovered in Mississippi." Gay said.

Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins Children's Center said, "If we can replicate this, this would have a tremendous impact on the lives of HIV infected children with respect to treatment and not requiring lifelong therapy which is what's needed right now."

Doctors say the child being treated at UMC has been off HIV drugs for about a year with no signs of the virus.

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