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HIV Patient Maintains Low Viral Load Despite No Antiretroviral Drug
25 Julio 2017, 11:55 | Martinez Canez
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With appropriate care and treatment during pregnancy, it's now possible to prevent HIV-positive women from passing on the virus to their babies, However, in some countries, infections at birth still occur. "Remarkable progress has been made... in controlling this HIV epidemic". "Steep reductions in annual new infections occurred in Thailand (50% decrease) Viet Nam (34% decrease) and Myanmar (26% decrease) between 2010 and 2016, while annual new infections climbed in Pakistan (39% increase) and the Philippines (141% increase) over the same period".
Unchecked resistance would also lead to additional 105,000 infections, because when treatment fails to suppress the virus, the patient is more likely to infect other people.
After eight and a half years of no treatment, they still have shown no signs of the virus.
Part of a project led by the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) at Columbia University in the United States, the findings provide the first direct proof of the national impact of expanded HIV treatment programmes on HIV incidence in a high-prevalence country.
The child was placed on antiretroviral treatment, or ART, for 40 weeks, after diagnosis at which point treatment was stopped and the child's health was monitored.
More than 50% of people living with HIV have access to HIV treatment.
The director of the UNAids Michel Sidibe said: "We met the 2015 target of 15 million people on treatment and we are on track to double that number to 30 million and meet the 2020 target". "We have more than doubled the number of people who have started on anti-retroviral treatment, and we have also nearly doubled the number of men who have been circumcised in the country".
The study's release came as researchers at the HIV science conference in Paris revealed the case of a nine-year-old South African girl who was born with HIV, but has been confirmed to be in remission despite ending drug treatment years ago. They are careful not to describe the case as a cure; instead, they say, the child's HIV infection is in remission, controlled by factors that are still to be understood.
Patients with HIV, which affects 37 million people worldwide, usually need to take the powerful medication daily for the rest of their lives.
The girl who participated in a statement said that "However, this new case strengthens our hope that by treating HIV infected children". After 40 weeks of treatment, researchers stopped the therapy and tracked the child closely.
The child, who has not been identified, was given treatment as soon as they were born as they were infected with the virus at birth.
This is not strictly a "cure" as HIV is able to lay dormant inside the human body without detection for long periods of time, before returning, and the virus has been detected in the child's immune cells.
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