Editorial: A baby step forward in the fight against Aids

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HIV/Aids has proved a stubborn problem. Thirty years on from the discovery of the virus – after tens of millions of deaths – there is still only one recorded case of an adult sufferer being cured. (The so-called "Berlin patient" had his entire immune system replaced with that from someone resistant to the disease.)

Now, however, a baby in Mississippi also appears to have cheated the virus – this time with the help of a massive cocktail of drugs administered within hours of her birth. Researchers hedge the case with any number of caveats. It is possible she was not infected in the first place; it is possible that she still is, but it is undetectable; a treatment for a single individual – and a paediatric case at that – does not easily translate into one for the population at large.

The case is still cause for hope, however. We may still be a long way from a cure for Aids. But we are one baby step closer.

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