Blood tests on the infant in Milan suggested that HIV had been eradicated / Getty Images

Blood tests on the three-year-old infant in Milan suggested that HIV had been eradicated

A second baby who was thought to have been “cured” of HIV after intensive anti-viral treatment soon after birth has suffered a relapse, doctors in Italy announced.

The so-called “Milan baby” follows the case of the “Mississippi baby” who was also thought to have been cured following the administration of anti-viral drugs at birth, but who after two years without drugs was later shown to be still infected with HIV.

Blood tests on the three-year-old infant in Milan, whose case is published in the journal The Lancet, showed no signs of the virus, suggesting that HIV had been eradicated. However, two weeks after anti-retroviral therapy was stopped, the virus re-emerged, the researchers said.

This means that the only case of a person being “functionally cured” of HIV is that of Timothy Ray Brown, the “Berlin patient”, who managed to eradicate the infection after receiving a bone-marrow transplant in Germany from a donor whose was naturally resistant to the virus.

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