Breakthrough in HIV Treatment: Children born with HIV showed remission of disease!

Children born with HIV showed remission of disease
Children born with HIV showed remission of disease. Credit | Getty images

United States: Already four HIV children who have taken their medication since they were born today, more than a year ago, (but) still don’t have the virus.

Study findings give hope to scientists

This situation is the result of the study titled Study P1115 conducted by the National Institutes of Health with the outcomes of the 2024 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Denver, Colorado.

The study focused on the effects of initial intensive antiretroviral therapy to achieve HIV remission in babies born with the virus.

While experts caution that HIV can hide in the body and may eventually return, the fact that these four children lived without detectable virus for more than a year without medication has given scientists renewed hope for finding new ways to achieve long remission in children born with HIV, as reported by ABC News.

Current treatment status for HIV

As ABC News reveals, there is no vaccine or cure developed for HIV, a virus that targets the immune system yet. The only conditions that have resulted in the correct protocol of how to best treat AIDS were found among a few adults who underwent risky bone marrow transplantation so that they are able to replace and take control of their immune systems.

Presently, modern medications allow people with HIV to live longer and healthier lives, but they must take medications for life to keep the virus at bay.

Babies get HIV through infected mother

Babies can contract HIV from their mothers during pregnancy. The case of the “Mississippi Baby,” born with HIV in 2010, highlights the potential of early, aggressive treatment given within hours of birth to lead to long-term remission, allowing children to lead healthy lives without regular HIV medication.

Global research studies by NIH

Global research studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health have explored possibilities for treating children born with HIV. While all children in the study had their HIV return, some did not have detectable HIV for over a year without medication.

This raises hopes that one day, children born with HIV could be treated for a shorter period during childhood instead of a lifetime of medication.

Adeodata Kekitiinwa, MBChB, MMed, emeritus clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, study investigator of record, and clinical research site leader in Kampala, Uganda, expressed optimism about the study’s findings.

She stated, “This trial takes us a step closer to realizing another paradigm shift in which our approach to antiretroviral therapy could be so effective that it might be used for a season of life, rather than its entirety,” as reported by ABC News.