UNITED STATES—There were amazing leaps and bounds in the medicine field this past week. Researchers may have found a cure for HIV in babies. This is amazing news for the disease that is crippling millions of Americans each day. A baby that was infected with the HIV virus had it neutralized by researchers that intercepted the virus by delivering high doses of three antiretroviral drugs within 30 hours before the child’s birth. Doctors were aware that the baby’s mother had contracted the virus and were hoping to control it in the infant.
Nearly 2 years after those treatments, doctors have not found any evidence of the HIV virus in the child’s blood. Does this mean we’re that much closer as a nation to finding a cure for the deadly virus? Not so fast, its not an actual “cure” for the virus, as small traces of the HIV virus were found in the child, so by implementing treatment very early doctors were able to nuke the virus in the blood.
This is still good news because it provides a sign of hope, that with continued research into just how those high does of the antiretroviral drugs depleted the virus from growing could shed light on the debilitating disease. The mother in the case had not had any prenatal care before the baby was born; in fact she was not diagnosed with the virus until she delivered her baby. The mother stopped the treatments for a period of time and there were still no traces of the virus in the baby’s blood.
Antiretroviral therapy or ART is a process that involves the combination of at least three drugs that help to stabilize the virus and prevent it from progressing. The one question that many Americans will begin to ask is whether or not this treatment can have an effect on patients who have the HIV virus and are a bit older?
Researchers are not fully sure on that theory at the moment, but this news indicates doctors have at least found a way to combat the virus in babies if caught in a very early stage of development. There’s no certainty at this point, if the antiretroviral drugs would have an impact on older patients, where the HIV virus has been prevalent in the blood for several years.
Researchers may be inching closer and closer to a cure that has ravaged our nation in the past 30 years, and this is welcome news to those individuals who have been living with the deadly disease that ultimately leads to the AIDS virus that has an impact on one’s immune system. I believe that with every single fiber in my bone there is a cure for HIV and AIDS. We haven’t found it yet, but it is indeed out there. Just like I believe there is a cure for the multiple cancers that claims the lives of millions of people each year. The cure is out there, we have to do more research and testing to find out what works. This week’s news about the HIV virus is something that will be talked about, studied and replicated for years to come until a cure is indeed found for the disease.
By Trevor Roberts