After years and years of researches and studies, doctors are hoping that they are finally gearing in the right direction where HIV cure is just a few more testing away. This hope was shattered though after a 2-year old baby who was HIV negative for two years tested positive again.
There are two babies who were considered to be a high risk of getting HIV right after they were born because of their mothers. The first child, born in California was given an anti-HIV drug, four hours after she was born and was HIV negative since then for about a year. The other baby who is from Mississippi was given the anti-HIV drug, 30 hours after his birth and remained HIV free for 2 years. The scientists and doctors hypothesized that if they can prevent HIV as early as possible; chances are the babies will remain HIV free.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor Robert Siliciano, MD, Ph.D., said that this is not true because the two children tested HIV positive after some months. This only proves that HIV remains in the body and hide in plain sight then appear when it feels like showing up. Siliciano added that it looks like HIV has a reservoir inside the body of infected individuals and the best way to fight it is to find that reservoir and destroy it.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) executive director Anthony Fauci, who is also an HIV and AIDS expert call the news of the two children disappointing news.
HIV and How It Can Hide
Our body can fight common infections with our immune system. For example, we got colds, our immune system will fight it off and it can easily do so without taking extra medications. This is not possible though if you contracted HIV because this virus can hide from our immune system.
HIV produces Nef, a protein it uses so it can hide from our immune system. Aside from hiding the virus from our cells, Nef also creates a diversion for our immune system to clean until such time that all of our cells are infected or weakened. Doctors and medical scientists have been trying to work on creating a protein that can block Nef and destroy it.
Can HIV interfere with the life of those infected with it?
If we say no then we are lying. Someone with AIDS or HIV has to spend thousands of dollars in order to control or slow the progression of the virus. It is a lifelong medication that won’t only affect the physical and financial well-being of a person but as well as the emotional well-being. In the early times, people diagnosed with AIDS commit suicide thinking that they are going to die anyway. In the last few years, medications and treatment have improved the lifespan of people with AIDS but the truth remains, they are still infected with HIV and it is hiding in their blood. It means that they can still infect others and can make other people get sick if they are not careful.