HIV-infected 18-year-old woman has been without therapy for years - and without symptoms

HIV-infected 18-year-old woman has been without therapy for years - and without symptoms

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The 18-year-old is symptom-free twelve years after the end of her HIV treatment
An 18-year-old who was born with HIV no longer shows any signs of illness twelve years after the end of medical treatment. The young French woman is not considered cured, but she is fine even without medication.

Girls were born with HIV infection
Although the UN recently announced a turnaround that there are 40 percent fewer HIV deaths worldwide, despite all the research, an end to the AIDS epidemic is not yet in sight. For decades, research has been carried out into how to treat the immune deficiency disease from a medical point of view. Only a few months ago, scientists from the United States and Germany reported that a study had succeeded in lowering the viral load in infected people with antibody therapy. The case of a young French woman could now bring new valuable insights into the fight against AIDS: The 18-year-old, who was born with HIV, has had no symptoms for years.

Twelve years after the end of treatment without symptoms
As the AFP news agency reports, the young, HIV-infected French woman shows no signs of illness twelve years after stopping medical treatment. According to a study presented by the Paris Pasteur Institute in Vancouver (Canada) on Monday, the 18-year-old was not considered cured, but she was fine without medication. According to the information, it is the first known worldwide case of an HIV-infected child, in which a so-called long-term remission, i.e. the absence of symptoms of the disease, was found.

The girl was infected in the womb or at birth
According to the study, the child's family decided to stop treatment at the age of six. As reported, a "undetectable viral load" was found a year later when she was due to be treated again. The doctors then decided not to continue treatment with the child and to monitor the child instead. According to the scientists, the case could show that immediate treatment after HIV infection is essential. The girl is said to have been infected either in the womb or at birth.

Do not stop treating patients
According to the study, the case raises hopes for early treatment prospects. However, the researchers also urged caution when interpreting the results. According to this, doctors should initially not advise their patients to stop their treatment. Years ago, the case of a supposedly healthy HIV-infected child in the United States caused a sensation. The child of an HIV-infected mother had become known as the "Mississippi girl". After several months without medication, it was cured until it was infected again by the virus. At the time, experts spoke of great disappointment for the child, the family, the doctors and all AIDS research. (ad)

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Video: Non-occupational HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis nPEP


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