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7 March 2013 — A two and a half year old Mississippi baby was found to be cured of HIV, amidst intense excitement. The news has provoked not just interest, but skepticism as well.

The child was born prematurely to a mother living with the virus, and just 30 hours old, began a heavy regiment of anti-retroviral drugs. Treatment continued till she was 18 months old, and 10 months later, while traces of the virus' genetic material have been detected, there are no signs of infection.

United Nations agencies welcomed the news; the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibé, said that the "news gives us great hope that a cure for HIV in children is possible and could bring us one step closer to an AIDS-free generation, (and) underscores the need for research and innovation especially in the area of early diagnostics."

Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the "case also demonstrates what we already know — it is vital to test newborn babies at risk as soon as possible."

Doctors are quick to say that there are no guarantees of the child's continued health, with scientists calling this a "functional cure." Scientists think that this one baby cured of HIV could be the exception, and believe that targetting the virus as soon as possible after birth is crucial. By doing so, anti-retroviral drugs are able do their work, before the virus reaches the immune system's CD4 cells. These cells, in adults, are able to provide the HIV a safe-harbour of sorts, from the effects of anti-retrovirals. — PJ

Related Articles:
UN News: UN welcomes news of HIV baby who appears to be cured by treatment
CBC: Baby born HIV-positive apparently cured, say scientists
The Guardian: Is the HIV 'functional cure' the breakthrough it seems?
The Guardian: HIV baby cured by US doctors - video
Wall Street Journal: Questions and Answers About HIV Cure of Baby
The Globe and Mail: Meet the man who was cured of HIV
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Posted by Beebow Icon
Posted on 07/06/2017, 04:36 PM
NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY
June 27, 2016. HIV testing is the only way to know for sure if someone has HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight people in the United States infected with HIV don't know it. Gay and bisexual men are more severely affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.
Among all gay and bisexual men, black/African American gay and bisexual men bear a disproportionate burden of HIV. From 2008 to 2010, HIV infections among young black/African American gay and bisexual men increased 20%.
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) a represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all gay and bisexual men. At the end of 2011, an estimated 500,022 (57%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States were gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs.
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