Scientists report a rare case of HIV remission

Malaysia among Asia Pacific countries with most new AIDS infections

The results are being presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science.

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.

A South African child has been in remission from HIV, without signs or symptoms of the active virus for nearly a decade, following a short treatment administered shortly after birth.

Patients with HIV, which affects 37 million people worldwide, usually need to take the powerful medication daily for the rest of their lives.

"With global political will and funding for HIV on the decline. these patients arriving at hospitals sick with AIDS will have any hope of reprieve snatched away", said Mit Philips, health policy advisor at MSF.

Figures by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a California-based health policy NGO, also estimated that the reduction of budget by USA president Donald Trump could lead to almost 200,000 new HIV infections.

As per the study, the girl, whose name is kept anonymous, was part of a clinical trial in which HIV-positive born babies were treated within the first few weeks of their lives. Especially because there were other children in the trial, who received the same early treatment, but didn't have the same outcome.

"To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of sustained control of HIV in a child enrolled in a randomized trial of ART interruption following treatment early in infancy", said Avy Violari, the co-author of the study.

"By further studying the child, we may expand our understanding of how the immune system controls HIV replication", said Caroline Tiemessen from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg.

The survey showed that 73 percent of HIV-positive people had achieved suppression of the virus - meaning it does not replicate to make them ill - compared to 35 percent in 2011. The mother disappeared with her child.

The girl, who researchers did not identify, started on HIV drugs when she was 2 months old and stopped 40 weeks later. The girl does not have a gene mutation that gives natural resistance to HIV infection, Fauci said, so her remission seems likely due to the early treatment.

Although results among young people (aged 15-24 years) did not quite reach the 90-90-90 targets according to the report (90 per cent diagnosed, 90 per cent treatment and 90 per cent viral suppressed), Unaids notes that the health outcomes for the population living with HIV has remarkably improved.

"We think it was a combination of receiving early treatment and some factors in the immune system that controlled the virus", Cotton told NBC News.

The other two children who have had similar successful outcomes were in France and Mississippi.

The child does not have rare genetic characteristics associated with controlling the virus.

It is worth noting that while there is no active HIV virus in the child's body, the virus has been detected in the child's immune cells.

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