Doctors announced on Sunday that a baby had been cured of an H.I.V. infection for the first time, a startling development that could change how infected newborns are treated and sharply reduce the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS. The data is being presented at CROI today at 11.30 am – and our Medical Director, HIV Specialist Doctor Steve Taylor, is at the conference.
“If this is correct it is exciting news for HIV cure research,” says Dr Taylor. He advises caution, however: “This is definitely not something that will have a significant impact for HIV-infected babies or children any time soon.
“This is a single case which gives hope to scientists investigating cure research. However, around the world every year tens of thousands of babies are still being born HIV-positive because their mums are not being tested early enough in pregnancy, and therefore are not being given the right drugs.
“If we test and treat HIV-positive women in early pregnancy, then the babies don’t have to get infected in the first place.
“For women who are pregnant the message has got to be: testing testing testing. If you are positive, you can receive treatment, and we can stop the baby becoming infected.”
You can listen to Doctor Taylor appearing on BBC 5 Live this lunchtime below. We’ll have more on this developing story later today.