'An aggressive form of HIV' which develops into full-blown AIDS in three years have been discovered in CubaChris Middlebrooks (Author) Published Date : Feb 15, 2015 12:41 IST
In a new research researchers have discovered a new form of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which develops into a full blown AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in three years in Cuba. The researchers also mentioned, the progress of the virus is so fast that the anti-retroviral medicine doesn t seem to work.
One of the researchers Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a medical professor at Belgium s University of Leuvan said, she was informed about the aggressive form of AIDS by her Cuban counterparts and was asked for her help to find the facts behind the scene. In a statement she said, We have a collaborative project with Cuba and the Cuban clinicians had noticed that they recently had more and more patients who were progressing much faster to AIDS than they were used to [seeing]. In this case, most of these patients had AIDS even at diagnosis already .
During the study Professor Vandamme and an international team had studied more than 70 patients who have been recently infected with HIV. They discovered that none of the patients treated for HIV and infected with the mutated strain of HIV and developed AIDS within three years. According to Professor Vandamme, Here we had a variant of HIV that we found only in the group that was progressing fast. Not in the other two groups. We focused in on this variant [and] tried to find out what was different. And we saw it was a recombinant of three different subtypes Another thing was that they had much more virus in their blood than the other patients. So, what we call the viral load was higher in these patients .
The researchers have mentioned that without any treatments HIV infections take 5 to 10 years to become a full-blown AIDS. The progression of HIV to AIDS is contributed to the patient s weak immune system. Researchers said though this kind of virus responds to most anti-retroviral drugs yet patients may not realize that they have the mutated strain before it is too late for therapy.
Researchers have also confirmed that this variant was seen in Africa before, but it was not spreading at that time. Though this strain can be linked to Africa further study is required.
'An aggressive form of HIV' which develops into full-blown AIDS in three years have been discovered in Cuba