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HIV Returns to ‘Mississippi Baby’ Thought to be Cured

Doctors announced that the 3-year-old girl thought to be cured of HIV is back on medication after remaining off of them for 27 months.

Last year, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that the child, known as the “Mississippi baby,” was cured from the disease after being treated at birth with a three-drug regimen as opposed to the typical one or two. But a routine checkup last week determined that the virus had returned.

“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,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, said during a Thursday briefing.

Although the finding “felt very much like a punch to the gut,” Dr. Hannah Gay, one of the girl’s physicians, and the rest of the team knew there was a possibility that the disease could return.

“Ever since we discovered this case in 2012, we knew this could happen,” she said.

Despite what may seem like a setback, scientists have made progress. According to the doctors, those infected usually can only go a few weeks without treatment not two years.