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D.C. Rolls Out New HIV Test That Could Increase Chance of Cure

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The recent news about a baby in Mississippi and 14 French adults said to have been "cured" of HIV infection has fueled excitement that the end of HIV/AIDS could be within sight. Both situations raise more questions than they currently answer.

Although no one can say we now have "the" cure for HIV, these cases show that currently available medical treatment -- if provided early and consistently after infection -- seems capable of driving HIV into remission, achieving what is called a "functional" (that is, for all intents and purposes) cure.

That two-letter word "if" holds a world of significance. The cases of the baby and the French adults suggest that diagnosis within hours or days of infection, and treatment within hours or weeks, can lead to long-term suppression of the virus after a few years on medication.

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