HIV can genetically evolve and independently replicate in patients' brains early in the illness process, an analysis of cerebral spinal fluid has found. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with antiretroviral therapy should reduce the risk that the virus could find refuge and cause damage in the brain, where some medications are less effective -- potentially enabling it to re-emerge, even after it is suppressed in the periphery, say researchers.
27 March 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
It’s now clear, researchers say, that HIV originated in humans on 13 separate occasions, evolving in humans from ancestral viruses that infected monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas.
03 March 2015 | New York Times
Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists. HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, has jumped species to infect humans on at least four separate occasions, generating four HIV-1 lineages -- groups M, N, O, and P. Previous research from this team found that groups M and N originated in geographically distinct chimpanzee communities in southern Cameroon, but the origins of groups O and P remained uncertain.
03 March 2015 | Eurekalert Inf Dis
A pair of new studies suggest that HIV evolved to enter into a latent state in order to thrive in the long run, and that the virus itself, and not infected immune cells, controls when replication stops and starts.
02 March 2015 | AIDSMeds
Biomarkers of inflammation increase during acute HIV infection and remain elevated despite early suppressive antiretroviral therapy, according to a study presented at CROI 2015, in Seattle, Washington.
27 February 2015 | The Body Pro
Engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting multiple strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Once inside a host, these strains can recombine into a new variant of the virus. One such recombinant variant observed in patients in Cuba appears to be much more aggressive than other known forms of HIV. Patients progress to AIDS within three years of infection – so rapidly that they may not even realise they were infected.
16 February 2015 | KU Leuven press release
The subtype that comprises 5 percent of HIV-1 infections globally traveled from Africa to Thailand where it was identified in 1989. From there, it spread around the world. Thailand's popularity as a tourist destination, including sex tourism, is one of the reasons.
23 January 2015 | Science Speaks
There has been an explosion of media stories positing that the virulence of HIV is decreasing and that the virus is evolving into a “milder form." But the study prompting the coverage relies primarily on laboratory measurements of HIV replication capacity, despite the fact that a prior publication—by several of the same authors—reports that results from this test do not predict the rate of CD4 T cell decline over time.
03 December 2014 | TAG
HIV RNA remained detectable at low levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of almost 20% of patients who had HIV RNA levels below 40 copies/mL for up to 10 years of antiretroviral therapy (ART). The investigators believe their finding indicates that the central nervous system (CNS) can be an HIV reservoir during suppressive ART.
28 October 2014 | International AIDS Society
One of the most effective methods used by HIV to evade control is to hide from the immune system. B-cells are crucial for controlling new infections, producing specific antibodies to attack it, which coat the surface of infected cells and tag them for destruction. But according to a study from Duke Medicine, published in Cell Host & Microbe, when HIV enters and begins replicating in the gut, the reaction of B cells is ineffective because the virus is able to pose as a “good” bacterium. Its gp41 surface protein - which is displayed on the surface of infected cells - looks like surface proteins on the cells of friendly gut bacteria.
21 August 2014 | The Conversation UK