Researchers introduce baby cured of HIV

Posted: 7:00 PM EST Mar 03, 2013   Updated: 5:34 AM EST Mar 05, 2013

It's being hailed as a major medical breakthrough: Researchers claim a baby, infected with HIV, has been cured.

The findings were released during an international conference on HIV and AIDS.

A Mississippi baby born with HIV is cured after 18 months of treatment with HIV drugs already in use.

"These are medications that aren't experimental. These are medications that are used every day by HIV clinicians to treat individuals with HIV," said Dr. Peter Ender with St. Luke's University Health Network.

Dr. Ender says says the findings of the study have yet to be published and more research needs to be done.

He says HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment has come a long way since the 1980's with many advancements preventing mothers from transferring from HIV to their babies.

Researchers have only claimed a cure in one other case: a man known as the "Berlin Patient" who underwent a specialized bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV.

Otherwise, drug therapy has come close, in many cases reducing the virus to near undetectable levels and keeping them in check through continued drug therapy.

Dr. Ender says advancements like these have transformed HIV-AIDS from a terminal to a chronic disease.

"For a long time it has been treatment without discussion of cure but with some of the basic science that is being done and now a few clinical cases that suggest the possibility that cure is a possibility there is hope," said Ender.

Dr. Ender says research indicates patients who are diagnosed early respond better to treatments.

And research is continuing to try to place HIV-AIDS in the same category as Polio a killer that has has a vaccine cure.