MIAMI (CBS4) – A baby born with the AIDS virus has been cured with aggressive treatment in Mississippi, and that’s generating a huge reaction in South Florida.
Florida has the second highest rate of pediatric HIV cases in the country and there is ongoing research to eliminate the infection.
The girl, who is now 2-and-a-half years old, was given ‘three’ standard medications starting when she was 30 hours old.
“It’s a proven concept you can cure HIV. For many years we have been searching for a cure,” said Dr. Gwen Scott who is the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Miami. “The baby got three drugs because the doctor felt she was at high risk and because the mother had no treatment.”
Dr. Scott told CBS4’s Joan Murray that the breakthrough will cause doctors in South Florida to consider more aggressive treatments for children, and it could make a difference for adults who are diagnosed early.
But she hopes the news won’t deter those diagnosed with HIV from continuing their treatment.
CBS4 News spoke with a 19 year old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, who was born HIV positive.
She is overjoyed at news of a breakthrough because of the stigma associated with HIV.
“Young people when you tell them you have HIV they think you will die. They are scornful,” she said. “And you wonder will I have children and if I tell my partner, how will he feel?”
The woman, who is now nearly seven months pregnant, said she hopes her son will grow up in a different world.
Since she has been diligent about taking her HIV medication, which keeps the virus in check.
Because of that, her son has a very, very low chance of being born HIV positive.
“I’m very nervous. I don’t want any kid to go through what I went through,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”