A child in Mississippi who was thought to have been cured of H.I.V. with aggressive drug treatment immediately after birth is now showing signs of infection with the virus, federal health officials announced Thursday — a serious setback to hopes for a cure for AIDS.
The report in March 2013 that the child had apparently been cured raised the possibility that aggressive early treatment might be able to reverse infections in newborns — and perhaps even in newly infected adults. About 2.3 million people around the world were newly infected with H.I.V. in 2012, the last year for which figures were available; 260,000 were infants infected at birth or immediately afterward.
So Thursday’s announcement was especially deflating. During a telephone news conference held by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Hannah B. Gay, the pediatrician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson who first put the child on large doses of antiretroviral drugs, said it was “like a punch in the gut.”
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