This is very sad, although not entirely surprising. HIV/AIDS has been a very difficult disease. There have been a long history of promising developments which were initially lauded as breakthroughs, but which ultimately failed to work out.
A child in Mississippi who was thought to have been cured of H.I.V. after aggressive drug treatment in infancy is now showing signs of infection with the virus, federal health officials announced on Thursday, a serious setback to hopes for a cure for AIDS.
The report in March 2013 that the child had apparently been cured touched off excitement among doctors around the world. Dr. Deborah Persaud, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the lead author of the report, said it was “proof of principle that we can cure H.I.V. infection if we can replicate this case.”
So Thursday’s announcement was especially deflating. During a telephone news conference held by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Hannah B. Gay, the pediatrician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson who first put the child on large doses of antiretroviral drugs, said it was “like a punch in the gut.”