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Essay on An Analytical Look at the Cured Mississippi HIV Baby

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In March of 2013, news of a cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) swept across the scientific and general media. There were claims that this event was the breakthrough needed to finally eradicate HIV (Young, “Researchers: Toddler Cured”). This claim came from a baby born HIV positive but now no longer tested positive for HIV. This baby was born in Mississippi and within 30 hours of being born, was treated with rigorous amount of combination of HIV treatment called ART (antiretroviral therapy), which included medications such as Azidothymidine (AZT), along with a few other antiviral medications (Persaud 1). AZT, the main medication given to the baby, is used to slow down the progression of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), HIV causes AIDS (Stoto 40). After months of close observation, the doctors couldn’t find any positive result for HIV in the baby’s body (Young) (Persaud 1). This news might sound great for a lot of people, especially for the community of HIV positive people. However, it is too early to understand how this event will really conclude. The results of the babies treatment with AZT is still inconclusive, but based on similar events being observed recently, there will be an HIV cure in the future with further studies.
The general term “cure” is not enough to describe what happened to the baby. A better scientific description for her current state is “remission” or “clinically cured” (Lupkin1). The only scientifically cured person of HIV is the Berlin patient, who received a bone marrow transplant from a person that is in a rare group of people genetically immune to HIV (Stine 69). Remission is when the percentage of HIV in the body is so low that the virus cannot be detected, even with the most advanced...


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..., Gerald James. AIDS Update 2012: An Annual Overview of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 64-113. Print.
Stoto, Michael A., Donna A. Almario, and Marie C. McCormick. Reducing the Odds: Preventing Perinatal Transmission of HIV in the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Academy, 1999. Print.
Wilson, Jacque. "Second Baby Possibly 'cured' of HIV." CNN. Cable News Network, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
Young, Saundra. "Mississippi Toddler Still HIV Free." CNN. Cable News Network, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
Young, Saundra. "Researchers: Toddler Cured of HIV." CNN. Cable News Network, 04 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .



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