New HIV Strain Has Been Identified; First In 20 Years

November 25, 2019
by John Kelly, MD
New HIV Strain Has Been Identified; First In 20 Years

Researchers have come across a new strain of HIV, with the first strain being identified almost 20 years ago.

According to the article, which was published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Abbott Laboratories, Presbyterian Mission Agency and University of Missouri researchers agree there is a new kind of HIV since the introduction of the classification of HIV strains back in 2000.

There are two kinds of HIV – HIV-1 and HIV-2. The HIV-1 category has several strains. One such strain is Group M, which has been linked back to the Democratic Republic of Congo and is responsible for the worldwide HIV epidemic.

The newly-discovered strain is being classified as subtype L in HIV-1 Group M.

Sporadic cases of the virus under subtype L were seen in 1983 and 1990 in the DRC. An additional case was seen in 2001, which led to the study. Unfortunately, researchers could not identify the genome to classify it as an HIV subtype until now.

Abbott principal scientist Mary Rodgers said finding a new virus is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The latest discovery will help to stop pandemics from happening.

While forms of the new HIV strain is making its way around, there is no classification for them just yet.

Boston University associate professor Manish Sagar said the finding is further proof of the many HIV strains in the world. Sagar was not involved in the study.

According to researchers, the prevalence of this HIV subtype is less than what was discovered, which means it’s unlikely to spread. However, it’s important to gather and find the different strains as they happen.

Sagar said current HIV regimens can be used to fight the strain, as no data points to their ineffectiveness against it.

University of Missouri-Kansas City co-author Carole McArthur said the discovery is a prime example of the need to outsmart the virus if the HIV pandemic is ever to end.


Share:

Related Articles
4 Possible Treatment Options for Chancroid STD Bacteria
STDs
4 Possible Treatment Options for Chancroid STD Bacteria
Sexually transmitted disease Chancroid is caused by the Haemophilus ducreyi, a small bacteria that…
Coping with HIV/AIDS: Your Next Few Steps to “Normalcy”
HIV
Coping with HIV/AIDS: Your Next Few Steps to “Normalcy”
Learning and finding out that you’ve been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is not…
PrEP May Not Be Working As It Should For Some Users
HIV
PrEP May Not Be Working As It Should For Some Users
A 34-year-old gay man who began taking pre-exposure prophylaxis in December 2018 and was taking it…