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Researchers may have caught HIV becoming more virulent

A study from Cuba has generated wide media interest because researchers have identified a particular variety of the virus which is associated with rapid post-diagnosis falls in

Published
19 February 2015
By
Gus Cairns
An aggressive form of HIV uncovered in Cuba

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.

Published
16 February 2015
From
KU Leuven press release
Small world: Study of HIV subtype’s global spread shows impacts of tourism, migration, policies

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.

Published
23 January 2015
From
Science Speaks
Starting HIV treatment early and then interrupting is no better than delaying it

A French study that looked at the total amount of time since infection that people with HIV have spent with a detectable viral load has found that,

Published
22 January 2015
By
Gus Cairns
Elite controllers may pay a high price for their low viral load

About one in 200 people with HIV maintains an undetectable viral load and high CD4 counts without having to take antiretroviral therapy (ART). These so-called ‘elite controllers’

Published
07 January 2015
By
Gus Cairns
HIV vaccines should avoid viral target cells, primate model study suggests

Vaccines designed to protect against HIV can backfire and lead to increased rates of infection. This unfortunate effect has been seen in more than one vaccine clinical trial. Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have newly published results that support a straightforward explanation for the backfire effect: vaccination may increase the number of immune cells that serve as viral targets.

Published
04 January 2015
From
EurekAlert
Could HIV make hearing worse?

A new study has found that low- and high-frequency hearing is poorer in adults with the human immunodeficiency virus, compared with adults who do not have the disease. Although unexpected, similar hearing loss has previously been observed to be more likely in adults with diabetes mellitus. "It is possible that both HIV infection and diabetes, being systemic diseases, could affect the neural function of the cochlea," the authors suggest.

Published
29 December 2014
From
Medical News Today
HIV has become more virulent over time, not less, European study finds

The largest cohort study ever to look at CD4 count and viral loads in HIV-positive people around the time of diagnosis has found evidence that HIV, at

Published
10 December 2014
By
Gus Cairns
Is HIV Weakening Over Time?

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.

Published
03 December 2014
From
TAG
Starting HIV Meds Within a Year of Infection Helps Restore CD4s

Beginning treatment for HIV within a year of infection improves the likelihood of returning an individual’s CD4 count to a normal level.

Published
03 December 2014
From
AIDSMeds

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