New HIV Strain Leads to Faster Disease Progression

Newfound information has been found that certain forms of HIV is showing to be more aggressive than older, previously known strains. HIV has been around for quite some time, but new forms of the disease are coming to light. Currently there are about 60 known strains of the virus, with specific virus strains prevalent throughout certain regions. Each geographical location hosts about two strains of HIV. However, it is possible for a person infected with one strain to be infected with a different type as well. When this happens, a recombined form can appear.

These recombinant forms have the medical world on high alert. After recent studies, scientists have noticed a growing trend of more aggressive forms of HIV taking place. Globalization in the form of immigration has also played a role in taking strains of the virus out of one area and moving into other areas, introducing new strains to each other. The recombinant forms of these viruses have been the focus of current research.

The strain recombinant A3/02 is the combined strain of two forms of HIV common in West Africa. However, when closely observed and studied, the mutant virus proved itself more destructive than its predecessors. Researchers noticed a faster progression towards the development of AIDS as well, taking only five years for the disease to manifest. This is much faster than previously seen with older strains. Scientists fear that with the passage of time, and more recombinant forms coming into existence, the more we will see a change in the way HIV functions and reacts. This is especially the case when it comes to treatment, since these new types are more resistant to certain therapies.

More follow up is needed to completely understand the dynamic nature of these new HIV strains. Further study will help researchers discover what types of recombinant forms already exist and how to deal with these changes.