Published: 03rd March 2021
#ThrowBackToday: Back in 2013 today, two-year-old 'Mississippi baby' cured of AIDS, only to relapse next year
In today's #TBT, we recount how Mississippi baby was born to an HIV-positive mother and how she was 'cured' of AIDS, for a short while at least. It is surely a tragic tale that once gave hope to many
Born to an HIV-positive mother, Mississippi baby, as it was dubbed, contracted HIV at birth. Within 30 hours of the baby's birth, the doctors launched an aggressive antiretroviral therapy, a procedure to use drugs that control the infection. Two years later, it was found that indeed, the baby had no traces of HIV virus in its blood thus, on March 3, 2013, it was announced that the baby has been "functionally cured" of the virus. This means the virus count is so low, that no treatment is actually required. This despite the fact that the mother had stopped all of the baby's treatments for eight to ten months was a miracle!
The hope this news gave to the medical community and those suffering from AIDS was huge! Soon, research began on possible pediatric HIV cure cases so that more and more such instances can be prevented. But alas, on July 10, 2014, it was detected that the child was HIV-positive. And just like that, all hope was shattered. The baby was back on antiretroviral therapy and reports came in that it was working to keep the virus in check.
AIDS continues to claim lives. As many as 32.7 million people have died of AIDS till 2019 and we are yet to find a cure.