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Researchers describe first 'functional HIV cure' in an infant

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A team of researchers from UMass Medical School, the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have reported the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.

The infant described in the report underwent remission of HIV infection after receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) within 30 hours of birth. The investigators say the prompt administration of antiviral treatment likely led to this infant’s cure by halting the formation of hard-to-treat viral reservoirs —dormant cells responsible for reigniting the infection in most HIV patients within weeks of stopping therapy.

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