New HIV virus accelerates AIDS

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AIDS outbreak accelerated by new HI virus

Researchers in West Africa have discovered a new strain of HI viruses that can cause AIDS to break out earlier. It also shows that HI viruses form reservoirs and thus prevent healing.

Accelerated by a year Everyone is talking about HIV and AIDS on the occasion of World AIDS Day, which is celebrated on Sunday tomorrow, as it has been every first December since 1988. Now it has become known that a new HIV pathogen has been discovered in West Africa, which is said to lead to a faster AIDS disease. According to the broadcaster “Voice of America”, referring to data from the Swedish Lund University, it takes an average of around six years from the time of infection to the outbreak of AIDS in the HIV strains that have been predominant there until now. The new A3 / O2 exciter is one year faster on average.

So far, only in West Africa have scientists discovered the new strain in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. Apparently it originated from two known pathogens and is said to be only widespread in West Africa. The results so far are based on a study on a good 150 patients in Guinea-Bissau. However, further studies are also planned in Europe. 30 years ago, French researchers Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinouss first described the HI virus, which, if left untreated, causes the immunodeficiency AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The two scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of the HI virus in 2008.

Infected often without complaints Despite intensive research, there is still no cure for AIDS. More than 35 million people worldwide are affected by the immune deficiency. The World Health Organization (WHO) is particularly concerned about the 50 percent increase in HIV among young people. In 2001, the WHO registered 1.5 million adolescents carrying the virus, compared to 2.1 million at the end of 2012. During the acute phase of the infection, about two to three weeks after infection, non-specific symptoms such as fever or joint pain can occur. Infected people often do not notice any symptoms and the disease can remain in the body for several years without showing any effects.

Increased risk after a fresh infection The virus is initially kept in check by the body's own defense mechanisms. But even during this time, an HIV-infected person can transmit the pathogen to sexual partners at any time. Since the virus concentration in the body is particularly high after a recent infection, the risk of infecting others is greatest. The symptoms and outbreak of AIDS can be delayed with the help of medication, but a cure is not yet possible.

Inactive pathogens stay in the immune system for years A major problem on the way to curing an HIV infection is apparently the reservoir of infected cells of the immune system. At least an extensive examination of eight patients before and during antiretriviral treatment suggests this. As a result, inactive pathogens would remain in the CD4 cells of the immune system for years during therapy, but they do not appear to multiply. This was recently reported by an international team of researchers led by Lina Josefsson from the Stockholm Karolinska Institute in the "Proceedings" of the US National Academy of Sciences ("PNAS"). Antiretroviral therapy can reduce the number of HI viruses below the detection limit for infected people, but if treatment stops, the number of pathogens increases again. This is because there are inactive pathogens in the infected cells that cannot be reached by the medication. So far it is unclear exactly where these reservoirs are and what is happening there.

36 million AIDS deaths Of the approximately 35.3 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV or already have AIDS, 22.5 million live in southern Africa alone, according to the latest estimates by the UN organization UNAIDS. In addition, according to UNAIDS, 1.6 million people worldwide died from the consequences of AIDS in 2012. Since the pandemic began in the early 1980s, there have been a total of around 36 million deaths. The number of AIDS deaths has fallen by 30 percent since its peak in 2005.

90 percent of all infected children in southern Africa The number of new AIDS infections has stagnated since 1990. Nevertheless, the United Nations AIDS program assumes that 6,300 people a day, or about 2.3 million a year, worldwide are dealing with the fatal immunodeficiency infect, despite all efforts and education campaigns. 1.6 million of the newly infected would live in southern Africa alone. Especially where up to a third of women between the ages of 24 and 29 are HIV-positive, hundreds of thousands of children would be infected with the virus at birth. According to UNAIDS, around 90 percent (2.9 million) of the 3.3 million children infected worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa.

More money in the fight against the virus More and more money is being invested worldwide in the fight against the virus. In contrast to 2003, when $ 3.8 billion was still available, in 2012 it was $ 18.9 billion. Developing and emerging countries are also increasingly contributing to HIV projects. According to the UN Millennium Development Goals, the budget is to be increased to $ 22 to 24 billion by 2015. (ad)

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