A Baby Alleged to Have been “HIV Infected” is “Deemed Cured”–But Where is the Proof?

March 5, 2013

05 Mar (AHRP) – There have been scattered cases reported in the past, including one in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1995, of babies clearing the virus, even without treatment.  The New York Times front page article, “In Medical First, Baby With HIV Is Reported Cured,” in its sub-heading acknowledges, “Some Skepticism Voiced.” 

 Furthermore, the The Times  report states:

“Doctors announced…that a baby had been cured of an HIV infection for the first time”,  but the report also notes that the claimed “cure” has not been confirmed, published, or even peer reviewed.” 

 “Dr. Persaud and other researchers spoke in advance of a presentation of the findings at a Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.”  If the report is confirmed, the child born in Mississippi would be only the second well-documented case of a cure in the world.”

WELL  DOCUMENTED?

Unless independently verifiable documented evidence is presented for confirmation, this story appears to be propaganda. The announcement is calculated to persuade health policy officials to divert scarce healthcare dollars for expensive AIDS drug cocktails to be forced on newborn babies born to poor, uninformed young women.

The Times quotes Dr. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins stating:

“It’s proof of principle that we can cure HIV infection if we can replicate this case.”

PROOF IN PRINCIPLE IS NOT PROOF OF CURE!

Some outside experts, who have not yet heard all the details, said they needed convincing that the baby had truly been infected. If not, this would be a case of prevention, something already done for babies born to infected mothers.

Dr. Daniel R. Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is quoted stating:

              “The one uncertainty is really definitive evidence that the child was indeed infected.”

The Times reports:

“The mother arrived at a rural hospital in the fall of 2010 already in labor and gave birth prematurely. She had not seen a doctor during the pregnancy and did not know she had H.I.V. When a test showed the mother might be infected, the hospital transferred the baby to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where it arrived at about 30 hours old.”

“Typically a newborn with an infected mother would be given one or two drugs as a prophylactic measure, but Dr. Gay said that based on her experience, she almost immediately used a three-drug regimen aimed at treatment, not prophylaxis, not even waiting for the test results confirming infection.”

Without test results confirming infection… It is very troubling that aggressive treatments are being applied to seemingly healthy babies who are merely “suspected” of being HIV-infected–even as the treating doctors believe there is no cure.  How can doctors justify aggressive treatments before they are even certain that a disease is present? Does this not constitute medical malpractice?

“Virus levels rapidly declined with treatment and were undetectable by the time the baby was a month old. That remained the case until the baby was 18 months old, after which the mother stopped coming to the hospital and stopped giving the drugs. When the mother and child returned five months later, Dr. Gay expected to see high viral loads in the baby. But the tests were negative. ”
 
“Suspecting a laboratory error, she ordered more tests. “To my greater surprise, all of these came back negative,” Dr. Gay said. “
 

For more on this article to go AHRP.org.

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