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HIV Lessons from the Mississippi Baby

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The news in July that HIV had returned in a Mississippi toddler after a two-year treatment-free remission dashed the hopes of clinicians, HIV researchers and the public at large tantalized by the possibility of a cure.

But a new commentary by two leading HIV experts at Johns Hopkins argues that despite its disappointing outcome, the Mississippi case and two other recent HIV "rebounds" in adults, have yielded critical lessons about the virus' most perplexing - and maddening - feature: its ability to form cure-defying viral hideouts.

Writing in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Science, HIV research duo Robert Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D., and Janet Siliciano, Ph.D., note that such "failures" are in fact stepping stones to new understanding of what "cure" may look like and new therapies that tame the virus into long-term remission.

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