A Mississippi child, previously thought to have been in remission from HIV, has once again shown signs of the infection, researchers say.
Doctors had announced in March 2013 that the child seemed to have been cured, following an aggressive treatment of antiretroviral drugs that were begun just a few days after their birth. It was the second widely known case of an individual seemingly cured of HIV; the first was Timothy Brown, also referred to as the "Berlin Patient," who received a bone marrow transplant from a person who was genetically resistant to HIV.
Dr. Hannah P. Gay, the physician who put the child on the retroviral drugs, said the reemerging signs of infection came like "a punch in the gut," New York Times reported July 10.
The child had gone for about two years without any infection signs, including several months when it disappeared along with its mother and presumably had no medical treatment. But a new reservoir of infected cells had been discovered recently, and the child will have to remain on antiretroviral medications for the foreseeable future.
A study of 450 children had been planned, but researchers say that a new trial design will now likely be necessary.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told New York Times, "It's obviously disappointing, but I was not surprised. I've been chasing these reservoirs for the last 25 years, and I know this virus has a really uncanny way of hiding itself."
New York Times article is at: nyti.ms/1kMbw9W .