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Aggressive New Strain Of HIV Found By Scientists

One step forward, two steps back, it seems in the race against HIV/AIDS. 

On the heels of incredible news for World AIDS Day and a promising cancer-related treatment for HIV comes word from Swedish scientists that an aggressive new recombinant form of the virus is being transmitted. 

Good Morning America reports:

The new strain, known as A3/02, is a recombinant, meaning it is a cross between two previously identified HIV strains. Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Lund University researchers said that the infection moves from HIV to full-blown AIDS in about five years, nearly two- to two-and-a-half years faster than most previously known strains.

So far the new infection seems confined to West Africa. But experts fear that recombinants are becoming more common and could start to spread globally, especially to highly mobile regions such as Europe and the United States. The researchers said recombinants develop faster than the "parental" strains they spring from, though fortunately, this latest strain seems treatable with existing drugs.

Though worrisome, researchers say the newly-found strain is not the most aggressive form of HIV known to man. "There are some HIV types here in the United States that take as little as two years to develop into AIDS," Phalguni Gupta, a professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Graduate Health, told GMA.


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I seriously doubt it.

how is this 2 steps back as well?  its treatable with the same drugs?

I can agree with that. Just as we advance so will the virus. That's why we must be diligent. 

I am HIV-positive fyi.  My limited understanding is that there is no difference between AIDS and full-blown AIDS.  There is a difference between being HIV-positive and being diagnosed with AIDS.  AIDS, colloquially "full-blown AIDS," is a condition where your t-cells have been depleted to the point that you are susceptible to opportunistic infections that would not normally bother a healthy immune system.  

Apparently even this strain can be effectively treated with current drugs.  The danger is that new strains will develop that cannot be effectively treated with existing drugs.  The (not stated) point is that AIDS and HIV are not "old news," and their danger is real.  It is important to protect yourself and your partner(s) and to know and disclose your status so that everybody knows the risk they are taking.  I hope this is helpful.  

Please tell me the difference between AIDS and "full blown AIDS."  I can't believe an author in a reputable magazine uses the term that never made much sense and certainly should never be used in 2013.

Full blown AIDS is a hangover from the eighties, there is (to my knowledge) no difference. It is just a phrase that should be confined to the past. I live with AIDS and I could easily say I have full blown, but don't as it's an expression that shouldn't be used anymore and am surprised Instinct used it.

This just seems like a fear-mongering article. 

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