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September 28, 2005

Is the Aids virus weakening?

Topics: Medicine

_40851064_infected_cell_credited203.jpeg.jpgIt has previously been thought that HIV would increase in virulence as it passed through an increasing number of human hosts. But the latest study suggests that the opposite is actually true"

(...)"What appears to be happening is that by the time HIV passes from one person to another, it has already toned down some of its most pathogenic effects in response to its host's immune system," he said.

(...)"So the virus that is passed on is less 'fit' each time.

(...)"This would suggest that over several generations, HIV could become less harmful to its human hosts.

(...)Dr Marco Vitoria, an HIV expert at the World Health Organization, said other diseases - such as smallpox, TB and syphilis - had shown the same tendency to weaken over time.

(...)"There is a natural trend to reach an "equilibrium" between the agent and the host interests, in order to guarantee concomitant survival for a longer time," he said.

(...)However, Dr Vitoria stressed that the latest findings should not lull people into a false sense of security.

Just how valid these results are for predicting AIDS attenuation in the future remains to be determined, it's way too early to know for sure. It may take generations to find out the answer with any degree of certainty.

Cross posted at New Hope Blog

Posted by Richard at September 28, 2005 11:56 PM



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