Groundbreaking AIDS research presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, such as the toddler case covered in this issue of VAX, could be hurt by the across-the-board US spending cuts that took effect March 1 (see IAVI Report blog). With the US National Institutes of Health in danger of losing US$1.5 billion of its $31 billion budget, volunteers from more than 100 organizations rallied April 8 in Washington, D.C. to protect funding for biomedical research. Visit the IAVI Report blog for live coverage of the event.
A Functionally Cured
March meeting showcases new data on PrEP, hormonal contraception and vaccines—but a toddler steals the show
The 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) opened in Atlanta with a blockbuster about a Mississippi toddler who appears to be the first child—and only the second person—to have been functionally cured of HIV. The toddler was abruptly taken off treatment after receiving antiviral drugs during the first 18 months of life. Several months later, doctors could find no detectable replication-competent virus in the toddler’s blood or any evidence of disease.
Unveiled at an early press conference and rounded out a day later in an oral abstract session, the case report sparked a rare media firestorm for the organizers of this otherwise low-key, science-heavy meeting. Within 72 hours, a news story by The Associated Press had generated close to 5,000 comments on The Huffington Post website. The story captivated the blogosphere for days. READ MORE »