WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– Doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Pediatric HIV Clinic say, news of a Mississippi infant being cured of HIV is exciting and promising in an age when doctors are making great advances treating expectant mothers and their children.
“It’s very exciting, but the implications of this is very clear you have to diagnose very early and those diagnosed early on put on the therapy soon after diagnosis there may be a way to have a functional cure,” said Dr. Avinash Shetty, the director of the center’s Pediatric HIV Clinic.
Dr. Shetty says while it’s just one patient, and there are many of questions to be answered, it is another positive step in what’s a big part of battling the disease.
At Wake Forest Baptist, thanks to new drug therapies, an HIV positive mother has not given birth to an HIV child since 2010.
At Aids Care Service, the non-profit agency helping HIV infected patients in 7 Piedmont counties, they say the news is exciting and important at a time when many still don’t think
“If you just look at the statistics from our own state 24% of new infections last year were among women. It’s by no means a disease of certain populations as HIV knows no boundaries,” said Aids Care Service Development Director Rivkah Meder.
Meder hopes the good news of this functional cure in an infant serves as a good reminder.
“Get tested early, get tested often because if this functional cure works in the long run, that’s how it works. Treating this very early in course of disease and stopping it,” says Meder.