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Friday, March 6, 2015

An aggressive HIV is found in Cuba

Recently in Cuba, the researchers have found a kind of an aggressive HIV that progresses to AIDS in just three years. They said that progression occurs so quickly so the treatment with antiretroviral drugs may come too late.

Professor Anne-Mieke Vandamme of the University of Leuvan in Belgium said the health officials were first informed about the kind of AIDS forms. They are asking for help to find out what happens.
Blood samples testing to determine whether there is HIV. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1GjDCpg)
"We have a collaborative project with Cuba and the Cuban physicians have observed the presence of HIV patients are growing very fast to AIDS, compared to what they had seen before. In this case, the majority of patients suffering from AIDS even at diagnosis," she said.

Vandamme and her team looked at more than 70 patients and divided into various groups. One group consists of those with the virus rapidly develops into AIDS, although recently infected. "They have tested HIV negative one or a maximum of two years earlier," she said.

She said that on average, without treatment, HIV infection need five to 10 years before it grows become AIDS. It was determined by the scarcity of immune cells CD-4 and the number of opportunistic infections in the patient's body.

Typically, she said, the progression of HIV to AIDS more quickly is due to a weak immune system rather than the presence of HIV-specific sub-types. What happens in Cuba is different. 

"There is a variant of HIV that we find in the group that growing rapidly. This virus is a recombinant of three kinds of different sub-types," she said. This new form of HIV is the combination of sub-types A, D and G. This type of virus called CRF19. 

The good news is this aggressive strain of HIV that responds to most antiretroviral drugs. The bad news, people may not realize they have AIDS until it was too late for therapies to treat them.

Vandamme said this variant has previously been seen in Africa, but when the patients are still very few and not visible spread there. But this time the widespread distribution in Cuba and now can be easily researched. She said it was important for people who perform unprotected sex with multiple partners for HIV testing early and often. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | VOA NEWS]
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