World Health Organization urges action against HIV drug resistance threat

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VLS was estimated using all people living with HIV (PLHIV) as a denominator, regardless of knowing their HIV status or use of antiretroviral drugs.

One reason is that it's hard for individuals with HIV to receive treatment quickly enough after infection, whether they're infants or adults, Rizza said. Fauci described the child as being in "remission" rather than being cured. However, the child has something that has never been seen before.

Anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment inhibits the virus, but doesn't kill it, and infected people have to take pills daily for life which are costly and have side-effects.

The case "strengthens our hope that by treating HIV-infected children for a brief period beginning in infancy, we may be able to spare them the burden of lifelong therapy", Dr Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a description of the case released by the institute, which sponsored a clinical trial in which the child was enrolled.

"A recurrence is always possible, as in all cases of remission".

The second case, reported in 2015, involved a French teen who underwent treatment from soon after birth to age 6 and whose blood continued to have undetectable levels of the virus for 12 years after stopping the drugs.

Donor government funding to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries decreased to $7 billion previous year from $7.5 billion in 2015, the lowest level since 2010, said a report published last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS.

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In 2010 a baby in MS stopped treatment and suppressed HIV symptoms for 27 months before it reappeared in the blood. The aim of the study was to find if early treatment before the signs of sickness was better than deferred treatment.

Replicating it as a new form of therapy - a drug, antibody or vaccine - would have the potential to help other patients. The identity of the child is kept confidential mainly because the mother has died. Another factor may be that their very early treatment did not give the virus a chance to fully establish itself.

"We will continue to scale up to reach everyone in need and honour our commitment of leaving no one behind", he added. "But I also think there was probably a combination of being on treatment early, protecting his immune system and allowing it to get used to the virus and adapt and cope", Cotton said. As of past year, 12 had been in remission a decade on average. The child who was infected with HIV at the time of birth was given a burst of treatment after birth.

"Relapse is a possibility in any case of remission", underlined study co-leader Avy Violari of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

SHIMS 2 findings on viral load suppression among adults of 15 years and older of 73 per cent affirms UNAIDS estimates of 68 per cent.

"I do want to caution that many kids around the world have been treated, and, having gone through this with the MS child, I think it's important to know this is a very rare outcome, a notable outcome, but not a common one", she said.

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