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

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  •  Just Was the Subject of NPR Talk of the Nation (5+ / 0-)

    so you might link to their 2 PM segment if audio link is now available.

    They said the usual procedure for a newborn to an HIV mother was to treat with one or 2 drugs and then test. For some reason they dove in with all 3 and during treatment they discovered the kid was infected.

    The expert the show explained that it could succeed because the virus wouldn't have had time to build up much of a reservoir. They said this would probably have no application for adults because you can usually not know you got transmission until months later, and the virus is too well established for the treatment of this child to effect a cure.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:05:58 PM PST

    •  immunologic matury is important too. (0+ / 0-)

      The big thing that the commentators missed is that the immune system in infants is not fully mature - and therefore the cells that are primary targets for the initial infection are rare.  Thus really hammering the virus can clobber the infection because it basically gets stopped, the infected cells die or are killed, and the new cells replace them in the absence of infectious virus.

      Of course in mature systems where a self-sustaining infection is possible, selection for resistant virus happens - which means that the virus evolves (and is why development of new drugs is on going).  But that's one of those things the Rethugs don't believe in and will probably be axed during the sequester.

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