Aggressive hiv strain
Mar 3, 2018
There is an aggressive strain of virus from cuba, which proggresses to aids in like 14 months, what medications can be given and are there any research made in this topic, sir pls answer.
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
There has been much in the media about the "aggressive HIV strain" from Cuba. What this refers to is a particular strain of HIV, called CRF19 (for circulating recombinant form 19). CRF19 has been newsworthy because it appears to cause more rapid immune decline (progression to AIDS within three years, not 14 months) that other common strains of HIV.
CRF19 has been described in locations around the world, Cuba (perhaps cloaked in post-Cold War icons), North Africa and Spain. It's thought that the increased disease risk is related to increase replication fitness (also known as replication capacity, RC) of CRR19. Indeed, the relationship between RC and rate of HIV disease progression with other HIV isolates has been well known for many years.
CFF19 is not intrinsically resistant to antiretroviral medications, so it can be treated with any of the usual medications that we use to treat HIV. Indeed, under treatment (and viral suppression), RC doesn't seem to impact disease progression or prognosis. And that's a good thing.
It's noteworthy that there are ongoing studies looking at the rates of transmitted HIV drug resistance (including from Cuba and Spain), and while it's important to not conflate these reports with the CRF19 story, nothing in principle prevents CFR19 from becoming drug resistant (in people who are non-adherent to medications) or having resistant CRF19 from someday being transmitted to a treatment-naive person.
CRF19 has been well studied, including this excellent international report characterizing the virus.
A search of PubMed (the National Library of Medicine) will keep you up to date on the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
I hope that this is helpful, BY
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