A toddler born with the HIV virus may be the first young child to be cured of the disease.

At a meeting of AIDS researchers in Atlanta, Georgia, specialists announced that only traces of the HIV virus remain in the two-and-a-half year old Mississippi child's system after a year without medication.

The child began undergoing intense antiretroviral drug treatment just hours after birth. The highly unusual treatment appears to have cured the child, and researchers hope to see the results repeated. If success is seen in treating other infants born with the HIV virus,  there may be hope for a functional cure to help curb the global AIDS pandemic.

According the United States Centers for Disease Control website, an estimated 49,273 people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States in 2011 alone. Over 10,000 of those infected were adolescents and young children.

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