Cure for AIDS
Researchers feel that they are going in the right direction in their quest for curing HIV/AIDS. There is a case where two babies, born with the HIV infection and treated, lived for a couple of years without showing the presence of the virus.
Yet, one of them has the HIV virus again.
It could be concluded that the treatment was able to get rid of the virus even for a short period, can make a change in the outcome of the treatment for recently infected people.
The usual norm taken for babies suspected of having the HIV virus is a medication program that could stop the virus. However, in the event that there are two positive tests, the medications are changed to ones that are meant to treat HIV. These would be safer for the babies to use as they would be more than two weeks old.
But then doctors could also take different treatment programs. 30 hours after birth a baby born in Mississippi was given treatment while in California, another baby only 4 hours old was also treated.
After a year, the baby from California is still free from HIV. For over two years, the baby from Mississippi was HIV-negative but recently has been shown to be positive again. It seems that after the baby reached 18 months, the mother decided to stop her medications.
The methods that were used on these newly-born babies were a plan that scientists hoped would stop the HIV from forming or totally eliminate the HIV virus that hides in the body.
A professor from the infectious diseases department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says that the results were not something new. He states further that it leads support to the view that the HIV cells hides in a reservoir in the body and does not go away. He also said that a cure could only happen if this reservoir is eradicated.
Whether this is a breakthrough or a setback only one thing can be concluded from the test that was done on the babies. It proves the theory right that the earlier an HIV-infected person submits to an HIV test and receive treatment, the better health outcome it will give to him or her.
However, the downside to this theory are the infected people who rarely know that they have the disease since signs and symptoms only appear two weeks to a month after infection. It was fine to do with the babies as they were already monitored and tested as soon as their mothers gave birth to them.
What doctors now recommend is for STD testing to be made a requirement for physical health check-ups or for sexually active adults to submit to tests every three to six months.
The thing that holds most adults from having an STD test is the stigma that they face once they go to testing centers. The loss of privacy is their main concern. Yet, as one doctor in an HIV clinic always advise the health care professionals if someone gets a positive HIV test: to ask questions later but start the treatment right away.