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View Diary: Baby with HIV 'functionally cured' (46 comments)

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  •  That's amazing (6+ / 0-)

    and for it to happen in Mississippi of all places. That alone is worth double points!

    •  It's a fascinating story (8+ / 0-)

      The mother didn't know she was infected until the baby was born. She hadn't received any prenatal care, then she fell off of the map after the baby turned 18 months for half a year. They finally tracked them both down to retest the baby, and still no HIV. There was remnant DNA and RNA from HIV in her blood, but no HIV.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:09:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, all of which means this is not really . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, mconvente

        such a big deal as it's cracked up to be. This only worked because the baby received a heavy course of anti-retroviral treatment immediately after birth. We already know that if adults receive ARVs immediately after exposure, it can avert infection. If pregnant women are diagnosed with HIV, transmission to the baby can be prevented from happening in the first place by giving the mother ARVs.

        So the only situation in which this represents any sort of news is that a) a woman is not diagnosed prenatally; b) the diagnosis is made at around the time of delivery; and c) the baby is in a place where an intensive course of ARVs can be administered immediately.

        This basically never happens. In the U.S., pregnant women are routinely tested and pre-birth prophylaxis administered if need be. In poor countries, it would be pretty rare for a woman to have no HIV test ahead of birth, then give birth in a hospital.

        So, don't get too excited. This is not a cure for HIV, and doesn't even point to one. Sorry.

        •  I, respectfully, disagree. (3+ / 0-)

          Conditions a), b), and c) occur more frequently than you apparently believe, even here in the U.S.  And with the republicans' fight against women's reproductive health issues, this may happen more often if they win the fight.  Any news that takes us a step closer to a cure for this dreaded disease is something the cheer.  IMHO

        •  Not such a big deal . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think this is quite a big deal.  It may not mean that a cure for HIV in newborns is imminent, but it offers great hope.

          I'm not sure what you base your three conditions on. Condition "a" is absurd. The outcome of treatment in the newborn is certainly not benefited by the mother not not being diagnosed prenatally. Similarly with condition "b", the treatment of the baby is the issue, not when the mother was diagnosed. Condition "c" is correct, as (obviously) the baby needs to be treated in order for treatment to have an effect.

          I have not studied the details of this incident, and am not an expert on genetics, but I worked in a cancer cytogenetics (chromosome analysis) lab for 10 years and have a pretty good idea what this is about.

          The thing I am waiting for is conservatives to say that this treatment cannot be afforded and that it would encourage promiscuity if there was a cure for HIV . . .

          •  Sorry, you don't know what you are talking about (0+ / 0-)

            If pregnant women are given a short course of ARVs, the baby rarely becomes infected. Condition a is not absurd, it is the whole point. If the mother is diagnosed prenatally, the baby does not become infected, and treating the baby is unnecessary. If, on the other hand, the mother is not diagnosed immediately before giving birth, nobody will have any reason to presume the baby is infected. (It isn't actually possible to tell whether babies are infected immediately after birth because they will have maternal antibodies. You would just have to assume.)

            So no, these three conditions will almost never apply, and this observation is of little practical use.

        •  You think all women are diagnosed prenatally? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denise Oliver Velez, michelewln

          What planet do you live on?  There are huge numbers of HIV-infected people in this country who have no idea they are infected.  At least some of them are pregnant women, and in a country that doesn't guarantee health care to its citizens, you're going to have a lot of people who don't get diagnosed until they end up in the hospital for some reason.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:50:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The planet of knowing what I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

            You are making false assumptions. Pregnant women are routinely tested, so while yes, many people don't know they are infected, many women find out because they become pregnant. Second, while many people do not have access to health care, there are effective public health efforts to get poor pregnant women into prenatal care, and either through Medicaid or dedicated funding, it is paid for. So the truth is that perinatal HIV infection has almost disappeared in this country. That's just a fact, your uninformed assumptions don't trump it.

            •  I'd love to see evidence of this fact. (0+ / 0-)

              I truly would.  

              Do you work with disadvantaged people with HIV?  What is your experience in this area?  I'm honestly curious, because your statements don't correspond to my experience as an HIV+ person in the HIV community.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:56:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Batson Children's Hospital is wonderful. (4+ / 0-)

      Many children born in MS with congenital birth defects are sent there for care, especially those born to low-income or drug-addicted mothers.

      An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:11:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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