Child is HIV-Positive at Age 4 but not at Birth.

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Stopping the HIV virus is a difficult task.  Photo courtesy of techpageone.dell.com

Stopping the HIV virus is a difficult task. Photo courtesy of techpageone.dell.com

An HIV-positive mother gave birth to a girl in 2010 and doctors immediately treated the baby
for the virus. The child, nicknamed “Mississippi Baby,” was treated for the first 18 months of her
life and no signs of the virus were confirmed. However, this last string of tests showed that the
young girl is infected with HIV and has a low level of T-Cells. The director of NIAID said,
“Scientifically, the development reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the
intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body.”
During the first 18 months of the child’s life, no trace of the virus was detected. It wasn’t until
this last check-up that the HIV popped up in the system. Typically, if a person goes without
treatment, the virus will flare up within the first few weeks. That’s why this case is of concern to
the doctors. They don’t understand how such a rare, deadly virus would not show in a human’s
system at birth but then appear years after treatment is stopped.
This specific case made headlines across the world. It was published in the “New England
Journal of Medicine” and has brought attention to the HIV/AIDS research community. The
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development announced that a clinical trial would
be provided to find out more about this case.

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