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Media Coverage Of ‘Functional Cure’ In Baby Born With HIV Continues

Highlighting the recent case of an infant reportedly cured of HIV infection “after a swiftly administered course of drugs,” Scientific American writes, “A number of factors make the child’s case unique, … and clinicians caution that we have not discovered a general cure for HIV yet. Still, the medical first may hint at ways to fight the AIDS-causing virus” (Fessenden, 3/5). “The reported ‘functional cure’ is welcome news, but until findings can be replicated and more evidence emerges, it is critical that clinicians continue to follow established guidance for testing and treatment,” Ambassador Eric Goosby, head of the State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and U.S. global AIDS coordinator, says in a statement on the AIDS.gov Blog, adding, “We eagerly await further research on these findings and whether the experience of the child can be replicated in clinical trials involving other HIV-exposed children” (3/6).

In an audio report, NPR health correspondent Richard Knox “explains this case and other developments in HIV research presented at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections” (3/5). The Guardian’s “U.S. News Blog” provides the transcript of a Q&A chat session with Sandra Burchett, clinical director and director of Children’s Hospital’s AIDS program at Boston Children’s Hospital, about the details of the case (Rogers, 3/5). In related news, CNN Money’s “The Buzz” examines the potential implications of the case on drug stocks, writing the case “will have likely have a neutral impact on the sales and share prices of the drug companies responsible” (Asher, 3/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.