Researchers in Cuba have discovered an ultra-aggressive form of HIV, which is the virus that evolves into AIDS over time. A study which was published last week showed that this newly discovered, and far more aggressive form of HIV can turn itself into AIDS in just three years – which is significantly faster than any other form of HIV, and has even become an “epidemic” among those who have recently been infected by the disease. Interestingly though, this form of HIV is actually a combination of three other strains of the virus – in turn, creating a super virus of the sorts. Researchers and doctors are most-concerned about this form of HIV due to the fact that if left untreated for any period of time – those who are infected may not seek treatment until it’s already too late. Even more troubling for doctors – they believe that this virus is actually among the hardest to actually diagnose within the HIV family.
This though isn’t necessarily new information for doctors and researchers. At least not in terms of the virus mutating. In fact, scientists and doctors have long stated that it would be entirely possible, and rather expected to see the disease transform itself over time. Not only due to the evolving needs of the virus – but due to the changing and mingling of the virus over time in people. Hector Bolivar, like many other doctors though, are particularly worried about the HIV strain that researchers have found in Cuba – due to the growing number of cases of this particular strain. “The only thing now, is that in Cuba, it is associated with rapid progression. It’s something that hasn’t been seen before that clearly.”
In terms of actual disease progression, for something to be seen in a laboratory that has to be a certain level of reproduction within the disease itself. Meaning, if the disease is only showing up in occasional cases – it will likely have a harder time appearing in lab testing. However, it would appear as though this strain of HIV has managed to show itself in multiple cases – including the most important cases. Researchers and doctors are not sure where this will lead immediately, but research is now being done to determine what could possibly happen to the virus as it undoubtedly spreads more.