A South African girl born with HIV, has been living for almost nine years without medication and the only treatment she has received was the medication administrated during the first months of life, according to a study released on Monday.
These extremely rare remission cases spending their lives without requiring any treatment are still inexplicable and the nine-year-old is the third one discovered so far, suggests the study presented at the AIDS research international conference in Paris.
“This new case strengthens our hopes of one day being able to relieve HIV-positive children of the burden of a life-long treatment, treating them for a short period at the very least”, said Anthony Fauci, director of the Institute American Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
“A recurrence is always possible, as in all cases of remission. But the fact that this remission has extended over such a long period it means that it can be sustainable”, revealed co-author and Witwatersrand University professor Avy Violari.
From the age of 2 months, this girl received antiretroviral treatments meant to prevent the development of the AIDS virus.
Ten months later, the treatment was deliberately stopped as part of the study, because the presence of the virus was reduced to an undetectable level.
Eight years and nine months later, the HIV virus is still inactive in the toddler’s system and she is not being treated either.
It’s not a healing, considering the HIV virus is still present, but it is so weak that it cannot be multiplied or transmitted to another person even in the absence of a treatment.
In usual cases, lifetime treatment should be followed to achieve these effects.