MORE AGGRESSIVE HIV
ANCHOR LEAD: ONE HIV STRAIN KILLS FASTER THAN OTHERS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Some strains of HIV kill people faster than others. Kenrad Nelson, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, have recently described a strain of the virus found largely in Asia that kills those it infects several years before other strains do so.
NELSON: We found that fifty percent of the men had died 7.8 years after they were infected, and there have been large studies of seroconverters in the United States, western Europe and Australia, and the median survival after infection is about 11 to 11.5 years, so its fully about three to four years more rapid. :21
Nelson says these statistics for time to death describe people who did not take medications to keep HIV in check, so most survival times today are prolonged. He says that identifying virulent strains such as the one identified in this study should help researchers understand exactly how the virus kills. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.