Baby Thought Cured of HIV Still Has the Virus

A red ribbon is put on the sleeves of a man by his friend to show support for people living with HIV Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

(Reuters) - A child thought to have been cured of HIV now has detectable levels of the virus, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

The child, known as the "Mississippi baby," was the subject of a case study of prolonged remission from the infection that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine last year.

The child, now 4 years old, was born prematurely in a Mississippi clinic in 2010 to an HIV-infected mother. After being given treatment for 18 months, the child then went for more than two years without antiretroviral medicines and during that time blood samples revealed undetectable HIV levels.

"Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child's care and the HIV/AIDS research community," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases.

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