Researchers have identified a new fast-moving strain of HIV in Cuba. Some patients have reportedly progressed to full-blown AIDS in under three years.
Without treatment, HIV infection usually takes 5 to 10 years to turn into AIDS, according to Anne-Mieke Vandamme, a medical professor at Belgium’s University of Leuvan. According to the study, published in the journal EBioMedicine, Vandamme was alerted to the new aggressive strain of HIV by Cuban health officials who wanted to find out what was happening. “So this group of patients that progressed very fast, they were all recently infected,” Vandamme explained to Voice of America. “And we know that because they had been HIV negative tested one or a maximum two years before.” None of the patients had received treatment for the virus, and all of the patients infected with the mutated strain of HIV developed AIDS within three years.
Obviously, this discovery underscores the importance of very regular testing for the virus. (Tipped by JMG reader Alan)