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A question on AIDS occurances
May 16, 1997

DR., Has there ever been some sort of case where an AIDS or HIV carrier has maraculously been rid of the disease? If so, has blood exchange worked if it has been tried? For instance, I a patient gets rid of AIDS, would trasferring his blood into a current HIV/AIDS patient prolong or reduce the affects?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. The only instance where I have heard of anybody miraculously overcoming infection with HIV, was in a newborn baby. This baby was shown to be infected at birth, but suddenly became uninfected later on. We have no idea why this happened. The baby did not receive any treatment that could explain how it no longer was infected. Perhaps the baby had a mutant form of the virus that couldn't survive? Perhaps the baby had something about them that overcame the virus? We simply have no idea why this happened. There's no proof to date of any successful immune response that will cure this infection (not even in the baby case I'm referring to here). Because there's no proof of any successful immune response against HIV, I cannot comment on blood exchange like you mentioned above.

Nothing in medicine is absolute or 100%, no matter what disease you are talking about. There will always be rare exceptions and outliers in every disease there is. This happens to be one of those strange and unusual cases we see in medicine. Hopefully, unusual cases such as this will give us more clues in how to treat HIV infections in the future.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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