On The Agenda: 'Functional cure' found for HIV

Doctors have discovered a 'functional cure' for a baby girl born with HIV.

A girl from Mississippi born with HIV has been the recipient of the first ‘functional HIV cure’ in an infant, thanks to very early therapy treatments.

The child, now two years old, has remained healthy with no medication for a year after the drug treatment, which started within days of her birth. If the girl remains healthy, it will be the world’s second reported HIV  ‘cure’.

Deborah Persaud MD (pictured) presented the findings from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta last week. Timothy Ray Brown is the only other person in the world believed to have recovered from HIV.

PR strategy

With a doctor from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center leading the presentation at the conference, the press office wrote a global release. As the three principal investigators for the case came from three different institutions, the team had to make sure their
information output accurately reflected each participant’s role.

Media coverage

The story was covered globally by national print and broadcast media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Reuters, CNN, NBC News, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the BBC, Channel 4 News and Time.

Stats:

300k - Average number of children born with HIV in 2011 globally*

2 - Reported ‘cures’ for HIV in the world

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