The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that fewer than 200 babies in the nation were infected with HIV at birth in 2010.
But in developing regions — including sub-Saharan Africa, the site of two-thirds of the world's HIV infections — it's a different story. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 babies are born infected with HIV, Fauci said.
More than half of those children die within the first year, said UCLA's Nielsen, who conducts research on HIV infection in infants and children. If the triple-drug treatment is proved in clinical trials, the therapy could be a boon for these babies.
Fauci suggested that in addition to such trials, researchers might want to take another look at children who have been on antiretroviral therapies since shortly after birth to see whether any of them had the disease cleared from their bodies.