Born with HIV, child cured in the US

In a medical breakthrough, doctors in the US say they have effectively cured a child born with HIV, infection for the first time on record.

Human immunodeficiency virusThis is seen by experts as a startling development that could change how infected newborns are treated and sharply reduce the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS.

The baby, born in rural Mississippi, was treated aggressively with antiretroviral drugs starting around 30 hours after birth, something that is not usually done. If further study shows this works in other babies, it will almost certainly be recommended globally.

The details of the case were described on Sunday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.

The United Nations estimates that 330,000 babies were newly infected in 2011, the most recent year for which there is data, and that more than three million children globally are living with HIV.

The infant, who is now two and a half, needs no medication for HIV, has a normal life expectancy and is highly unlikely to be infectious to others, doctors believe.