Main | Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HIV Superinfections Rise In Africa

Investigators are reporting that HIV superinfection, the state of bearing more than one strain of the virus, appears to be much more common in some parts of Africa than previously thought. Voice Of America reports:
“What we found in our study was that when we looked at a general population of heterosexual individuals in Uganda we found that it actually isn’t as rare as what we thought. And that it is occurring at a significant rate even in the general population,” he said. So how does a person become superinfected? Well, it has to do in part with where you are and what HIV subtypes are prevalent. “There’s geographic separation between what we call the HIV subtypes, or clades. One of the interesting things about where we work in Uganda is it is at sort of the crossroads of two of those clades. The clades are labeled and named by letter – A,B,C.D. And in Uganda, we have subtype A and subtype D,” said Redd.
The above-linked report notes that superinfected persons tend to respond to treatment just as well as others, but that superinfection has implications on how HIV vaccine research may proceed.

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