Of course, SciBlogs is in the middle of a WordPress update when this news breaks:
Some of you might remember last year, when there was exciting news about a baby, born with HIV, who had subsequently become HIV- thanks to an alternative treatment strategy (basically, give babby HAART ASAP).
The end of last year, the physicians associated with the babby finally published some of their observations.
This led to a rush of ‘Me too!’ physicians, either trying the same approach, or reporting on their previous HAART attempts. Theres nothing wrong with that at all. One baby should not change the standard of care for babies born to HIV+ mothers. It needs to be replicated in many other environments.
Well, the Canadians had been using this ‘aggressive’ approach for treating babies for a while, and found it was not the miraculous cure the physicians associated with the first baby had hoped– The ‘miracle’ fails 58% of the time.
But these physicians were just *sure* they had cured these kids… which lead to a disturbing trend…
It is considered medically unethical to stop the baby’s drugs now, but Dr. Deveikis and Dr. Yvonne J. Bryson, a pediatric AIDS expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is also working on the case, said they would consider stopping them briefly to see what happens if the baby is still virus-free at age 2.
Then chance intervened. One of the children, a now 3-year-old being treated at CHEO, was having difficulty sticking with the medication. Swallowing several tablespoons of unpleasant-tasting medicine twice a day is a common challenge for HIV-positive children.
“Sometimes it’s just not possible to keep going with the medication and because we would rather them not take it at all than take it intermittently, we sometimes, together with the family, make a decision to stop for a while,” said Lindy Samson, an infectious disease physician at CHEO.
Which lead me to freak out.
Until we figure out how to make sure the kids are cured and not just ‘cured’, YOU CANT TAKE THE KIDS OFF THE MEDS UNLESS THE MEDS ARE LITERALLY KILLING THEM. If the meds are LITERALLY shredding the kids kidneys/liver/whatever, by all means, take them off the drugs and pray they remain negative.
But in the absence of imminent death… DONT TAKE THEM OFF THE DAMN MEDS!
I CANT BELIEVE I HAVE TO TYPE THAT.
Well, HIV does what we know HIV does. The aggressive HAART didnt happen soon enough to prevent latency (HIV infects a cell and hides). Some of those latent cells reactivated, and now the miracle baby ‘cured of HIV’ in Mississippi is HIV+ again, because she was never cured of HIV.
And thats all the details I know now, because once again, we are talking about a press release, and not an actual publication.
This is 2014 and physicians are dinging around with kids lives, outside of a proper scientific context.
I was pissed enough at the physician who played games with the lives of two adults. But I have zero patience for this crap in children. I will say this once:
Keep the kids on the fucking drugs, you fucking idiot physicians.