Let’s Hear it For Science! Why Some People Are Immune to AIDS

One of the big questions in AIDS research has been answered: why do some HIV-positive people never develop AIDS? About 1 in 300 people with HIV are what scientists call “HIV controllers” because their bodies are able to control the virus and keep it from replicating, which means they don’t develop AIDS.

According to new research, the answer is that they have a genetic variation that helps their immune system kill the virus. For folks without this variation (which is most people), the virus is hidden from their immune system, so it can replicate. Although researchers are long way from turning this into a vaccine or other treatment, hopefully it’s a step in that direction.

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One Response so far.

  1. Petronius says:

    Have you ever heard of Typhoid Mary? In the early 20th Century she was fingered as the cause of 3 outbreaks of typhoid fever in New York. She ended up under detention at the city’s infectious disease hospital complex until the end of her life in 1938, as a danger to public health. She never caught the disease herself, and it is now thought that her immune system was just powerful enough to fight it off, but not powerful enough to destroy it, so she was a lifelong disease vector.

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