Memphis Doctor Reacts to News of Cured HIV Baby

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(Memphis) Medical experts all over the world are talking about a baby born just down the road in Jackson, Mississippi.

The child is the first ever to be cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

At the Church Health Center, Dr. G Scott Morris has worked with HIV patients for more than 25 years.

He diagnosed his first HIV patient in 1987.

“I was sweating bullets. I wasn’t sure if I was exposed by being near him. But I knew the hardest part was I knew I was giving him a death sentence," recalled Morris.

That patient died about a year later, but Dr. Morris stresses that was then, “Our science is such that we may be able to help people enjoy the life God's given us."

The news of a baby being cured of HIV in Jackson Mississippi makes that belief stronger for Morris.

Starting in 2010, just a day after the baby was born, doctors started aggressively treating the virus with drugs.

Usually doctors wait until the baby is six weeks old, and then test them for HIV. If they test positive, the baby starts treatment.

Morris says this time around, doctors didn’t give the virus a chance to build up in the baby's body and immediately started treatment because the baby’s mother was infected.

Fifteen months later, doctors who treated the baby say it is free of HIV.

Doctors all over Memphis are calling the news exciting.

Morris says we can't get too ahead of ourselves, so far this method of treatment only worked with one child, “We don’t know enough, yet it makes sense."

Not only does the news make sense, Morris says it gives hope to children around the world born with HIV and will more than likely not grow up because the virus kills them.

“If we could make this available to newborns and it’s a cure, it’s like eradicating polio,” said Morris.