The researchers have detected a new strain of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in some patients in Cuba, which they claim much more aggressive than the prior known one.
A new study has showed that the rate of progression in the new strain is so fast that it could lead to the development of the deadly disease Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) within three years of infection. Moreover, the antiretroviral drugs treatment may also fall short of this new strain as they might come too late to check its rapid progression.
The new HIV variant has been named CRF19. It is a combination of subtypes A, D and G of the HIV.
Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a professor of medicine at the University of Leuvan in Belgium, explains HIV infection usually takes 5 to 10 years to develop into fatal AIDS without any proper treatment.
“So this group of patients that progressed very fast, they were all recently infected. As we know that they had been tested HIV negative one or a maximum two years before, none of them had received any form of treatment for the virus. And all of them are infected with the mutated HIV strain and now have developed AIDS within three years,” Vandamme said.
According to the health experts, the rate of HIV progression to AIDS usually depends upon the patient’s immune system than any particular subtype of virus. But whatever happening in Cuba is completely different, Vandamme asserted.
In such a scenario, the health experts have strongly recommended people to take preventive measures and avoid unprotected sex in order to minimize their chances of falling prey to the deadly disease.
The findings of the study were published in the journal EBioMedicine.