- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Researchers says that three babies born in Canada to AIDS-infected mothers were declared HIV-free after receiving a new vaccine within hours of entering the world.

A fourth baby injected with the same treatment was discovered to have only a “very low level” of the virus, researchers said, the Daily Mail reported.

The findings are going to be formally presented at the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Medical officials are optimistic, but they still hesitate to label the vaccine a cure.

“At the moment, the doctors do not know whether they are in fact cured,” Professor Sharon Lewin told the Daily Mail. “The only way they can tell is if they stop the anti-HIV drugs and see if it comes back. We are excited about this, though, because all four received very early treatment after delivery, and when doctors tried to locate the virus, they could find virtually no viruses in their systems. These baby cases, and more cases amongst adults, tell us that if we treat HIV very early in some people, we’re able to stop it.”

The four babies contracted the virus from their mothers during pregnancy, Ms. Lewin said, the Daily Mail reported.

This isn’t the first breakthrough in HIV treatments. The Daily Mail reported that a baby born in Mississippi in 2010 was cleared of HIV in 2013, after receiving a three-drug antiretroviral therapeutic treatment that started when she was only 30 hours old. Just 29 days later, doctors couldn’t find any evidence of the virus in the baby’s system and stopped the treatments. In 2013, the baby was still declared HIV-free, doctors said in the Daily Mail report.

The four Canadian babies are still taking their treatments, and doctors aren’t sure when they should stop administering the drugs.

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