Medical experts stunned after newborn contracts HIV from an open wound on dad's arm

While it is extremely unusual for the human immunodeficiency virus to be transmitted from father to child, this new case has only proven the impossible


                            Medical experts stunned after newborn contracts HIV from an open wound on dad's arm

A recent case proves that HIV can be transmitted in some extremely bizarre and unexpected ways. After several years of investigating, scientists across US and Portugal have discovered that a four-year-old child who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2013, probably received the virus from a leaking blister on his father's arm when he was only a day old. 

The case remained under wraps for quite some time since the chief source of infection of the virus was not found. There are multiple ways in which HIV can be transmitted, and most often, the virus is usually transferred through certain body fluids such as blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk from an HIV-infected person.

These fluids can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, breastfeeding, and other intimate physical contacts. However, in the case of the child from Portugal, there were no signs of unusual physical contacts. Since his mother was HIV-1 seronegative, there were no chances that the child could have gotten it from his mother. 



 

There were also no signs of any earlier episodes of sexual abuse. However, researchers in Portugal, along with a phylogenetics expert in the US, mapped out the HIV samples from both father and son. The analysis led to the conclusion that the infection had passed into the boy from an open blister on the father's skin. Dr. Thomas Leitner, a phylogenetics expert at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, told Daily Mail, "It's a very unusual case. It shows us that it's not something that will have a large impact on the HIV epidemic but it does show us that there are unusual ways of transmission."



 

While this was probably one of the most unique cases that Leitner has experienced, it certainly was an eye-opener for Nuno Taveira, the microbiologist in Lisbon, who co-authored the article entitled, 'Accidental Father-to-Son HIV-1 Transmission During the Seroconversion Period'.

In the study, Taveira has stated, "While mother-to-child (MTC) HIV transmission still occurs in many parts of the world and has been phylogenetically investigated many times, few father-to-child transmissions have been reported." While it is a common aspect for the disease to pass on to the child from the mother, specifically, at the time of pregnancy, this was certainly one of the rare cases where the disease was transferred from the father.