Midlands doctors cautiously optimistic of cured HIV case in MS - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Midlands doctors cautiously optimistic of cured HIV case in MS

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Physicians in the Midlands are what would you call cautiously optimistic since the news broke of a toddler being cured of HIV in Mississippi.

"It's promising, and it just shows us that we need to more research before it's implemented into practice," said Dr. Rebecca Widener.

Widener treats young people with HIV and AIDS daily. She says HIV can become undetectable when her patients take their medications on a regular basis. The study is believable, but she's careful not to throw around the word "cure".

"In the context of HIV, more research needs to be done before we can assign the word 'cure' to it," said Widener.

But Widener admits it has the potential to be a game changer in the world of HIV and aids. In South Carolina, the number of people infected is still staggering. Numbers are still increasing. especially in the African-American community.

The Centers for Disease Control reports as of 2011, there are more than 14,000 adults and adolescents in our state living with HIV and AIDS. Studies also show the rate of newly-reported HIV and AIDS cases among African Americans in South Carolina is eight times that of whites.

"The numbers of adults and adolescents living with HIV in the state of the South Carolina are pretty comparable to the larger metropolitan areas across the United States," said Widener.

Even though the disease is no longer a death sentence like it was once thought to be, Widener says she hopes this case in Mississippi puts HIV and AIDS back in the spotlight. Prevention and protection are still key.

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