Study: For babies born with HIV, start treatment right away

WASHINGTON (AP) — When pregnant women have HIV, proper treatment is critical to prevent the virus from spreading to their babies.

But when newborns are infected, a new study from Botswana suggests starting their own treatment right away — within hours to a few days — is better than waiting even the few weeks to months that’s the norm in many countries.

The Harvard-led research team tracked a small number of youngsters for two years. Children treated the earliest had a much smaller “reservoir” of HIV hiding in their bodies. That reservoir is the reason HIV rebounds when people stop taking their medications.

The earliest-treated youngsters also had a better functioning immune system.

The findings were published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

Categories: National & International News