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HIV may be becoming less fit as it adapts to the immune system
Gus Cairns, 2013-11-08 09:40:00
HIV, at least in some parts of the world, may be developing a lower
replicative capacity as it adapts to variations in the human immune system,
studies in southern Africa and elsewhere suggest.
Goulder of the University of Oxford told the AIDS Vaccine conference last month
that competition between HIV and certain varieties of human HLA (human
leukocyte antigen) genes may be contributing to a diminution in HIV virulence,
a lower community viral load, and an increased proportion of ‘elite
controllers’ in the population.
Goulder remarked that these changes seemed to
be happening surprisingly fast, and that in some populations the introduction
of antiretroviral therapy would also tend to reduce the fitness of the HIV that
was still circulating.