A baby born infected with the AIDS virus who got immediate treatment now has no detectable virus in her blood - not quite a cure, but so close to one that it has doctors talking about the possibility.
Her case, presented to a meeting of AIDS researchers that started Sunday, will prompt questions about how early babies should be treated - and further illustrates the possibility that immediate treatment with HIV drugs might stop infection in its tracks and could even have an impact on the AIDS pandemic.
"What we have identified is what we think is the first well-documented case of a functional cure in a neonatal child," Dr. Deborah Persaud of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the virologist who led the study, told NBC News.
A functional cure, says Persaud, means the virus isn't entirely gone, but it's not doing any damage, either. Doctors think it was because they began therapy for the baby within 48 hours of being infected, she told a conference in Atlanta of HIV specialists.
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