MORE THAN ONE HIV
ANCHOR LEAD: JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE INFECTED WITH ONE HIV VIRUS DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T GET ANOTHER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Recent reports on vaccines for HIV have been very disappointing, revealing that not only aren’t these candidate vaccines protective, they may actually be harmful. Kenrad Nelson, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says trouble developing an effective vaccine arises because the virus is recombining all the time, and the perfect mixing vessel to do so may be people.
NELSON: People can get reinfected with other viruses and in fact, that’s one of the ways that new viruses arise, because if the same cell is infected with two different viruses, parts of the virus can recombine and the virus that emerges from that cell can be different. In east Africa for instance as many as thirty to fifty percent of people are infected with a recombinant virus, which means it’s a virus that has pieces or parts from two or more original strains. :29
Nelson says preventing infection with more than one virus makes safe sex crucial for everyone. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.