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AIDSInfo-at-a-glance

Issue No. 16 | July 18, 2014
A Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesView HTML version
News and Features 

"Mississippi Baby" Now Has Detectable HIV, Researchers Find

"The child known as the 'Mississippi baby'—an infant seemingly cured of HIV that was reported as a case study of a prolonged remission of HIV infection in The New England Journal of Medicine last fall—now has detectable levels of HIV after more than two years of not taking antiretroviral therapy without evidence of virus, according to the pediatric HIV specialist and researchers involved in the case.

"'Certainly, this is a disappointing turn of events for this young child, the medical staff involved in the child’s care, and the HIV/AIDS research community,' said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. 'Scientifically, this development reminds us that we still have much more to learn about the intricacies of HIV infection and where the virus hides in the body. The NIH remains committed to moving forward with research on a cure for HIV infection.'"

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Study Suggests That Low Levels of HIV-1 RNA Detected in the Cerebrospinal Fluid After Up to 10 Years of Suppressive Therapy Are Associated With Local Immune Activation

"Though combination antiretroviral therapy reduces the concentration of HIV-1 RNA in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) below the detection limit of clinical assays, low levels of HIV-1 RNA are frequently detectable in plasma using more sensitive assays. We examined the frequency and magnitude of persistent low-level HIV-1 RNA in CSF and its relation to the central nervous system (CNS) immune activation. …

"CSF and plasma HIV-1 RNA were measured using the single-copy assay with a detection limit of 0.3 copies/ml in 70 CSF and 68 plasma samples from 45 treated HIV-1-infected patients with less than 40 copies/ml of HIV-1 RNA in both fluids by standard clinical assays. …

"CSF HIV-1 RNA was detected in 12 of the 70 CSF samples (17%) taken after up to 10 years of suppressive therapy, compared to 39 of the 68 plasma samples (57%) with a median concentration of less than 0.3 copies/ml in CSF compared to 0.3 copies/ml in plasma (P<0.0001). …

"Low-level CSF HIV-1 RNA and its association with elevated CSF neopterin highlight the potential for the CNS to serve as a viral reservoir and for persistent infection to cause subclinical CNS injury."

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