HIV Propaganda increased – Researchers discover new aggressive HIV strain in Cuba
Researchers discover new aggressive HIV strain in Cuba
HomeAmericasMore Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:43AM
A new more aggressive strain of HIV which can develop into AIDS within three years of infection has been discovered in Cuba, researchers say.
According to Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a medical professor at Belgium’s University of Leuvan, she was first alerted about the new strain by Cuban health officials who were seeking assistance, UPI reported on Saturday.
Vandamme and her research team studied over 70 infected patients and separated them into different groups, one of which was dedicated to those who had swiftly developed AIDS.
“So this group of patients that progressed very fast, they were all recently infected,” she said. “And we know that because they had been HIV negative tested one or a maximum two years before.”
Vandamme added that an HIV infection normally takes five to ten years to become AIDS.
None of the infected had undergone HIV treatment and had developed AIDS within three years, she added.
HIV only swiftly progresses into HIV in patients with weak immune systems, but the cases in Cuba are different.
“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,” she said.
The new strain, dubbed CRF19, is a mixture of HIV subtypes A, D and G, she said.
CRF19 has been observed in Africa but not in a sufficient amount of cases to be extensively studied.
“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,” Vandamme added.
According to researchers the progression from HIV to AIDS in the new strain happens so fast that it may not be treatable with antiretroviral drugs.