Is HIV Becoming More Potent?

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The HIV virus has always shown “extraordinary diversity and mutability,” as Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently put it.


Today, there’s new evidence of HIV’s flexibility—a study showing that the virus may be morphing into a more potent viral threat.


In the May 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, available here, researchers say that new data suggests HIV may be becoming more virulent. 

Here’s a snipet from the articule. “Most clinicians expect a several‐year window between HIV seroconversion and the need for antiretroviral therapy. However, some reports have suggested that HIV‐infected persons are presenting with lower CD4 cell counts in recent years and are experiencing rapid HIV progression, which requires the introduction of HAART shortly after diagnosis.” 


The authors write that the new data “provide an important clinical correlate to suggestions that HIV may have adapted to the host, resulting in a more virulent infection.”


Here’s a link to IDSA’s news release on the new study.

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