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2nd HIV infant appears cured

A second baby born with the AIDS virus may have had her infection put into remission and possibly cured by very early treatment – in this case, four hours after birth.

Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. The girl was born in suburban Los Angeles last April, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi. That was a medical first that led doctors worldwide to rethink how urgently to treat infants born with HIV, and the California doctors followed that example.

In another AIDS-related development, scientists have modified genes in the blood cells of a dozen adults to help them resist HIV. The results give hope that this approach might one day free at least some people from needing medicines to keep HIV under control, a form of cure. That study was published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

The Mississippi baby is now 3 1/2 years old and seems HIV-free despite no treatment for about two years. And a host of sophisticated tests suggest the L.A. baby has completely cleared the virus, doctors said.

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