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03/04/2013

Meet the women behind the latest HIV breakthrough

On Sunday, scientists attending a medical conference in Atlanta sent the world into a tizzy with this majorly-exciting announcement: a baby born with HIV appears to have been functionally cured of the virus.

(There are some caveats, of course, and this New York Times piece provides some healthy skepticism around the findings).

Scientists are presenting details from their yet-unpublished research paper today at the conference (unfortunately, there's no way to listen live via webcast but I'm told something will be posted online by the end of the day). For now, you can read the study abstract here.

You can also meet two of the doctors at the heart of this exciting medical development, both of them women. Here is the research paper's lead author Dr. Deborah Persaud -- a Johns Hopkins researcher who received the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's Scientist Award in 2005 -- speaking about the case to hivandhepatitis.com:

 

And here is Dr. Hannah Gay, the pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who treated the infected mother and child, being interviewed by MS News Now:

MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Update: I neglected to also mention Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga at the University of Massachusetts, whose lab has been testing the baby's blood for the virus. She, Gay and Persaud are all interviewed in this NPR piece.

Jennifer Yang is the Toronto Star’s global health reporter. She previously worked as a general assignment reporter and won a NNA in 2011 for her explanatory piece on the Chilean mining disaster. Follow her on Twitter: @jyangstar

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