Babies started on antiretrovirals after birth declared HIV-free

Researchers in the United States and Canada treated 136 children born to HIV-infected mothers at three Canadian hospitals.

It is accepted that the best way to prevent HIV infection in babies is treating the mother during pregnancy and therefore babies were eligible for the trial if they were started on cART within 72 hours of birth because of incomplete maternal virologic suppression at delivery or, in the absence of maternal viral load results, a maternal history of incomplete or non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

Of the 136 newborns, 12 were confirmed as having HIV based on detection of HIV-1 DNA or RNA in two or more separate blood samples. Of the 12, six had HIV detected within 48 hours of birth suggesting in utero infection. For the remaining six, the timing of infection could not be confirmed as testing took place more than 48 hours after birth.

Four have since achieved sustained virologic suppression. Six never achieved consistent