Santa Barbara
69° F
Santa Maria
58° F
San Luis Obispo
60° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
62° F

'Miracle' toddler could be key to HIV treatment

By Victoria Sanchez, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter,
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:15:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 05 2013 01:31:38 AM CST

'Miracle' toddler could be key to HIV treatment


A toddler in Mississippi is being called a miracle and the child that may have been cured of HIV could help future patients.

The baby girl was born HIV-positive and doctors took an aggressive approach to try to treat the infant. So far, that treatment worked and there is no trace of the virus in the child's blood. Now, adults are holding out hope for the future.

Ron Alexander was diagnosed with HIV in the 80s and in 1995 he found out he had AIDS.

"At that point a diagnosis with AIDS meant a life expectancy of two or three years. So I stopped working and got ready to die basically," he said.

That was 18 years ago and now Alexander is healthier and taking his medications daily. His disease will never go away, but there is some hope for newborns who contract the virus.

A baby girl in Mississippi who is being cautiously called cured, was treated with antivirals quickly, just 30 hours after birth. For 18 months, the child responded well to the treatment but stopped coming in for the medications. When doctors tracked the mother and girl down months later, there was no HIV in the baby's blood.

"It appears to have gone away," said Dr. David Fisk.

Dr. Fisk is an infectious disease physician at Sansum Clinic. He said the girl, now 2 years old, will still need to be tested to make sure the virus isn't hiding out in another part of her body.

If it isn't, it could be a breakthrough in the treatment of HIV in pediatric patients.

"The hope would be this could be reproduced in other babies and once it's shown to be a viable strategy, in a best-case scenario, then babies born to infected mothers who have not received antiviral medicines before birth, then those babies would be treated very early on to try to eradicate the virus," explained Dr. Fisk.

The case is giving Alexander some hope that children might have a chance to live a normal life.

"It would be nice to think about kids not having to, kids who would otherwise face a life of foreshortened life, not having to deal with that. Be able to lead a normal life span and not having to worry about HIV," he said.

The Mississippi case might not change his health and other adults, but Alexander said in the grand scheme of things, that's OK.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.