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Scientists discover more aggressive strain of HIV

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Researchers discovered a new and more aggressive strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Fox News reported a few days ago. It is believed that this strain of HIV develops into AIDS much more quickly than the previously discovered strains.

“In a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists detailed the new strain as a “recombinant” virus – a hybrid of two virus strains. Called A3/02 – a cross between the 02AG and A3 viruses – the strain can develop into AIDS in just five years after first infection – one of the shortest time periods for HIV-1 types,” Fox News reported.

Fox reports that, as of now, this more aggressive A3/02 strain of HIV has only been found in patients in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa but other recombinant strains of HIV are spread more quickly in other areas.

"HIV is an extremely dynamic and variable virus. New subtypes and recombinant forms of HIV-1 have been introduced to our part of the world, and it is highly likely that there are a large number of circulating recombinants of which we know little or nothing,” said senior author Patrik Medstran, professor of clinical virology at Lund University. “We therefore need to be aware of how the HIV-1 epidemic changes over time."

The picture above shows the new, more aggressive strain of HIV that scientists are calling A3/02. “Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding from cultured lymphocyte. The multiple round bumps on cell surface represent sites of assembly and budding of virions. (CDC.gov) ,” the report states.

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