The 12-year-old girl from Jazan has been constantly undergoing HIV tests ever since the gross mistake was made. Her test results at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) and Brigham Women’s Hospital, USA, have shown optimistic results.
In a statement released by a KFSHRC official to Saudi Press Agency on Thursday, it is reported that the HIV antibodies that were found in Riham’s blood likely came from the infected blood. The statement said, “The observation that the antibody levels decline over time without direct detection of virus, even after antiretroviral therapy was stopped, confirms that the patient does not have any sign of HIV infection.” This means that Riham’s body is not producing antibodies like usual HIV-infected patients do. If a person is infected with the HIV virus, then the person’s body starts to produce antibodies that fight the virus.
Both Prof Sami Al-Hajar, Head of Infectious Diseases for the paediatric division at KFSHRC and Dr Timothy Henrich, an HIV diseases expert at Brigham Hospital, USA, said that Riham would be closely monitored even after she is discharged from hospital.
The girl was lucky that her doctors took prompt and quick action to prevent the virus from spreading after the mistake was first identified.