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Girl in AIDS remission sparks hope for a cure

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A young girl born with AIDS has gone into remission, igniting new hopes of finding a cure for the deadly sexually transmitted disease. The girl, now 3 years old, was born with congenital AIDS but, after undergoing 18 months of extensive treatments, now shows no signs of the aggressive autoimmune disease.

A seeming cure for the young girl
After being diagnosed from a blood test shortly after birth, the girl has been claimed to be cured from the disease by some in the medical field. However, many experts caution that it is too early to tell if the virus will return, labeling the status as remission until she receives STD tests later in life. Regardless of the terminology, the girl's negative STD testing shows that treatments for HIV and AIDS show promise of ultimately curing the disease, noted the Washington Times.

"We want to be very cautious here. We're calling it remission because we'd like to observe the child for a longer time and be absolutely sure there's no rebound," Katherine Luzuraig, M.D., who helped with the girl's treatment, told the Associated Press.

Reports indicated that the girl's symptoms had recessed so much that doctors had to check records to make sure she ever had the disease at all. This landmark case shows promise for a future cure for AIDS.

Setbacks for a cure
A study published earlier this month in the journal Cell found that patients harbored a latent reserve of the HIV virus in their bodies for much longer than previously thought. The reserve of cells, known as HIV proviruses, may be as much as 60 times larger than scientists originally anticipated. In order to cure HIV and AIDS, the virus must be destroyed from the body completely, and this hidden reservoir of HIV cells makes it more difficult for scientists to track.

However, with new developments like the young girl who appears to have entered a state of complete remission from the virus, scientists are now able to work to find a true cure for the devastating virus. As more people get lab tests online to check their own HIV status as well as that of other common STDs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, researchers work to find a cure for one of the deadliest viruses found worldwide.

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