July/August #189 : The Quest to Cure Another Baby - by Benjamin Ryan

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Magnetic Attraction

A Shred of Understanding

Hold Your Horses

From the Editor

Accentuate the Positive


Letters-July/August 2013


Pride and Policy

POZ Planet

Say What?—Alicia Keys

Greetings from Ptown

PACHA Covers Trans Issues

Making Headlines

Latest Developments

Not Another Gay Sex Disease

Future Lovers

On a Roll


Yours in the Struggle

Care and Treatment

The Quest to Cure Another Baby

Viral Suppression Without Drugs?

The Genetic Fusion Inhibitor

New Retention Guidelines Urge Partnerships

Mapping Viral and Immune Coevolution

Research Notes

Prevention: PrEP May Be Cost-Effective

Treatement: Can Bees Sting Away HIV?

Cure: HDAC Inhibitors May Fight HIV Reservoir

Concerns: Hep C Transmission Among Gay Men

POZ Survey Says

Accentuate the Negative

POZ Heroes

Chemical Crusader

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July / August 2013

The Quest to Cure Another Baby

by Benjamin Ryan

Following the media bonanza surrounding the springtime announcement that a 2-year-old child from Mississippi was functionally cured of HIV after an atypically aggressive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment shortly after birth, scientists involved in the case are seeking to prove that it was not just a one-off.

“We are very excited,” said Katherine Luzuriaga, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, who was among the initial research team. “The Mississippi baby case has re-energized the research community, and I think we are all highly motivated to get clinical trials into place that will look to replicate that case.”

In May, researchers held a strategizing meeting at a retreat of the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. There they discussed the implications of the Mississippi baby case and designed research protocols for providing the same aggressive therapy to babies born to HIV-positive mothers who don’t receive prenatal care or who don’t take ARVs during pregnancy. The goal is to determine whether giving the aggressive therapy to these newborns can either prevent an infection or functionally cure an established one. Important in this process is weighing the risks of administering a more intense therapeutic HIV drug regimen against the milder prophylactic, or preventative, one that has long been the standard.

The research team will search for study candidates within IMPAACT’s vast global network of study sites, including many across the United States and in Brazil, Thailand and several African countries.

Search: Mississippi, HIV cure, Katherine Luzuriaga, University of Massachusetts Medical School, IMPAACT

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