Scientists on Sunday announced that they believe a baby born with HIV has been cured.

The child, now two-and-a-half years old, was taken off medication about a year ago and shows no sign of harboring the virus that causes AIDS.

“You could call this about as close to a cure, if not a cure, that we've seen,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, a leading expert in the field, told the AP.

Specialists reported on the case during an AIDS meeting in Atlanta.

The baby's mother was not diagnosed with HIV until she was in labor. A doctor gave the baby a stronger and earlier treatment than usual starting within 30 hours of birth, before the child had been diagnosed as having acquired HIV from his/her mother.

“I just felt like this baby was at higher-than-normal risk, and deserved our best shot,” said Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi.

A working theory advanced by scientists is that the fast action not only knocked out the virus but did so before it could form hideouts in the body. These dormant cells spring back to life immediately after a person stops medication.

The baby has been deemed “functionally cured” because while standard tests can't find HIV that could mean that the tests are simply not sensitive enough.