While the answer to this question is very broad, there is hope that the number of people living with HIV throughout the world will significantly decrease in the near future due to a toddler who was cured of the virus.
About 1000 infants are born with HIV every day, that’s about 330,000 children each year. While most of the infections are in the developing world, there is still a vast number of people living with HIV in first world countries. An example is the Mississippi mother who had no idea she had HIV until a few days before she gave birth to her baby. Once the doctors learned she was infected with the virus, they took precautionary measures to ensure they could prevent the transfer of HIV during birth, a very common way of HIV transmission along with breast feeding. Once the baby was born Dr. Hannah Gay administer three drugs to the baby within thirty hours of birth. Typically, babies born from mothers with HIV are given two drugs as a prophylactic measure, however Dr. Gay said “her standard is to use a three drug regimen to treat an infection. She did this on the infant without waiting for HIV test results” (CNN.com)
Gay believes that the timing of the drug treatment was extremely crucial, and is key to effectively treating HIV in children/newborns. Currently, researchers are trying to see if this “cure” is an anomaly for a short period of time, or if the cure is permanent. In addition, physicians and scientists are optimistic, hoping that this cure will prevent many children from living with HIV throughout the world. Although the antiviral medications are very costly, doctors believe that it is not a stretch to offer these medications in third world countries and are hoping to soon make these medications available to many clinics throughout the world, assuming the “cure” was a success.
Read more at: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/health/hiv-cure-global-hope/index.html?hpt=he_t3