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Genetic Variant Slows AIDS Progression
Date:11/23/2009

he virus, she said. It does this by allowing immune cells to gain greater access to the infected cells, she explained.

Carrington said this genetic variation isn't related to another gene-related trait that makes some people virtually immune to HIV.

The study "hints at ways we might ultimately develop a vaccine or immune-based therapies that could modify or maybe even prevent the development of HIV disease," said Rowena Johnston, vice president of research with the Foundation for AIDS Research in New York City.

"The finding that a single piece of DNA can be strongly associated with something as complex as the control of HIV soon after infection is especially intriguing, not least because we know that early control of infection sets the stage for the entire course of the disease," Johnston noted.

What's next? The ultimate goal, Carrington said, is "to have a complete list of every genetic variance that is affecting how rapidly the disease develops."

That, in turn, could help physicians figure out how to better treat patients.

More information

Learn more about AIDS from AIDS.gov.



SOURCES: Mary Carrington, Ph.D., senior principal investigator, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Md.; Rowena Johnston, Ph.D., vice president, research, Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City; Nov. 22, 2009, Nature Genetics, online


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