HIV cases in Philippines hit record high last May

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 25, 2017

HIV can hide inside them - called latent HIV - for long periods of time, so there is still a danger the child could need drug treatment in the future. The child has been in remission since eight and half years giving hope to millions of a possible new HIV cure.

"We met the 2015 target of 15 million people on treatment and we are on track to double that number to 30 million and meet the 2020 target", said Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in a press statement.

While the child being in remission raises hope, experts urged caution.

For the third time in recent years, a child born with HIV has been found free of the virus for a long period after a high dose of treatment early in life. "To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of sustained control of HIV in a child enrolled in a randomized trial of ART interruption following treatment early in infancy", Avy Violari, a scientist at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said when presenting the case to the International AIDS Society conference today (July 24).

The first case of extended remission in a child was announced to great excitement in 2013. The child was diagnosed at one month of age, started treatment at two months of age in the group of infants randomised to receive 40 weeks of treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir, zidovudine and lamivudine, and stopped treatment at one year of age.

The second case was reported in France where a child underwent treatment from birth until the age of six years.

There have been two other examples of early, limited treatment leading to outcomes like the one seen in this child, Rizza said, including the case of a baby in MS who received treatment just hours after birth and later went into remission for 27 months.

"Unlike human antibodies, cattle antibodies are more likely to bear unique features and gain an edge over HIV, said Dr Dennis Burton, part of the research team". The goal was to figure out whether early treatment was better than deferred treatment.

People living with HIV may one day be able to replace their daily pills with just a few injections a year, according to a new study.

"We don't really know what's the reason why this child has achieved remission - we believe it's either genetic or immune system-related".

U.N. AIDS released the news in a report that also revealed that AIDS-related deaths have dropped to nearly half of what they were in 2005. The virus came under control again after she resumed treatment.

Sophie Harman, a senior lecturer in global health systems, told AP News that more resources could have gone to making health systems in poor countries stronger than they now are.

"I do want to caution that many kids around the world have been treated, and, having gone through this with the MS child, I think it's important to know this is a very rare outcome, a notable outcome, but not a common one", she said.

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