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Statement on “Mississippi Baby” from Dr. Hannah Gay, professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center

Published on Thursday, July 10, 2014

By: Jennifer Hospodor

Regrettably, it was confirmed last week in test results the child known as the “Mississippi Baby” has come out of remission from the HIV virus.

I have been involved with the child’s care since birth and I am deeply saddened by this turn of events.

It was a punch in the gut to see these test results last week. I know intellectually the child is going to be fine, but with a lifetime of medicines ahead, it’s more than just a little disappointing. 

Obtained last week during a routine visit, test results first revealed that the child’s CD4 count was abnormal and then that the viral load – once undetectable – had increased substantially. The child has now been placed on standard doses of medication for HIV infection. 

I am confident the child will live a long and healthy life and while, as a clinician, I am more than disappointed for the child, I am hopeful for all researchers still looking for a cure. 

The search for a cure is like a giant puzzle being put together and the things that have been learned from this case have contributed many pieces to the puzzle. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the final piece.

Link to July 10 press release from National Institutes of Health: http://1.usa.gov/1juBnJ2

Link to Box.com folder containing photos, video, and an audio file of the July 10, 2014 NIH press conference: https://ummc.box.com/s/v7iblyxfn57fgmfm1bqt