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Virus Strain
Aug 31, 2008

How does one tell what HIV virus strain they have? How many virus strains are there? Thank You.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

HIV is divided into several subtypes, labeled with letters. Subtype B is the most common in the U.S. Within a person the virus can have multiple substrains or quasi-species, which can also be different in different tissues. The major subtype of virus can be determined by certain kinds of lab tests. Determining what kinds and how many quasi-species a person has requires very sophisticated testing done in research labs.



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