WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
A miracle of science gives hope to people with HIV.
It's the talk of Nashville's AIDS community. For the first time, doctors say they have cured a child of HIV.
The little girl was diagnosed with the virus at birth. Her mother tested positive for HIV, but the woman was never given any of the usual prenatal anti-HIV drugs.
Doctors acted fast. The baby was treated, and now she may be cured.
The banners are full of names. They are Middle Tennessee residents who have died of HIV/AIDS over the past years.
While the grieving never ends, the people at Nashville Cares are now encouraged.
"It's all over social media," says Patrick Luther with Nashville Cares.
Word is spreading quickly about the little girl in Mississippi who has been cured of HIV.
The child is believed to have contracted the virus from her mother.
"The pediatrician immediately gave the child three anti-retrovirals," says Luther.
Patrick Luther has been learning more all day.
The child was born with HIV, treated with drugs, and now, 2 1/2 years later, the virus is undetectable.
"This provides an opportunity, not just here in rare instances, but also worldwide, where it may be in more frequent instances, to provide prophylactics at the last minute," says Luther.
While Luther is hopeful, it's not clear how much of an impact the child's case could have.
The Director of Metro Nashville's STD program knows the girl's situation is the exception and not the rule.
"I think it would be difficult at this point to try and scale that up to a population," says STD Program Director Brad Beasley.
Research shows there are about 5,700 HIV patients in the greater Nashville area.
But the child in Mississippi was treated 30 hours after exposure, which is something that's hard to duplicate for adults and adolescents.
"There are an enormous amount of variables in there that could influence that outcome," says Beasley.
Still, the research goes on. Vanderbilt Medical Center continues to search for a vaccine, and treatment has come a long way in the last 30 years.
Advocates say the Mississippi case is another step in the search for a cure.
Doctors are encouraged that this case could help children in developing countries where prenatal care is rare.
As many as 1,000 children in the developing world are born everyday with HIV.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Tuesday, March 5 2013, 04:15 AM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
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