November 8, 2012
Researchers at the Bangalore-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) HIV-AIDS Laboratory have found that the HIV-1 virus has undergone a process of viral evolution in India over the past 10 years. It is possible that this may have happened in other parts of the world as well. Scientists discovered five new strains of HIV-1 rapidly replacing the standard viral strain. The study raises several questions with serious implications regarding viral fitness, evolution, and disease management -- the most important concern is the possibility of new HIV strains altering the landscape of the HIV demographics in India. According to the UNAIDS Global Report 2010, the rate of viral expansion had slowed or even declined in several global regions, including India. These new findings, however, invite a reexamination of how HIV/AIDS might cause greater problems in the future.