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Child is in HIV remission for years after treatment as an infant

Green HIV virus bumps on an immune cell

A South African child has remained in HIV remission for over eight years after aggressive treatment as an infant. The child was taking part in a large study on early HIV intervention for infants, and the work was presented Monday at the International Aids Society conference in Paris.

Why it matters: According to the World Health Organization, HIV progresses rapidly in infants. Scientists hope to study cases like this to understand why some children can suppress the disease when others can't. It shows that, for some children, early intervention can possibly save them from a lifetime of treatment-related consequences.

This is the third child known to suppress the virus for an extended period of time after aggressive, early treatment. The first, announced in 2013, was declared 'functionally cured' after 10 months. However, her HIV came back several months later. In 2015, scientists said that a French teenager had successfully suppressed the virus for at least 11 years after stopping treatment at age six.

Keep in mind:

In cases like this, scientists are careful to say that the HIV is in remission, not cured.