CROI 2014The famed “Mississippi Baby” has a sister: A second baby born with HIV now has no evidence of the virus in her body following an aggressive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment regimen given shortly after birth, The New York Times reports. Results from the case of this child, born in Long Beach, California, were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.

The Long Beach case should temper skepticism that the Mississippi child’s apparent functional cure was a one-off, or that the child in that case was not actually infected to begin with. (The Mississippi baby is now 3 years old and still apparently HIV-free and not taking ARVs.) Both viral DNA and RNA were detected in the second child’s spinal fluid, indicating that she was “definitely infected,” in the words of Deborah Persaud, MD, of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, who participated in the cases of both infants.

Just as in the Mississippi case, the Long Beach baby was born to an HIV-positive mother who had not taken ARVs to prevent transmission of the virus to her child during her pregnancy. In an attempt to replicate the success of the Mississippi baby, pediatricians at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach immediately gave the infant atypically high doses of Zidovudine (AZT), Lamivudine (3TC) and Viramune (nevirapine).

Highly sensitive tests cannot detect the presence of HIV in the child, who is now 9 months old. She is still taking ARVs, so she cannot, however, be qualified as functionally cured or in viral remission. Instead, she is considered “sero-reverted to HIV negative” at this time.

To read the Times story, click here.