.

American doctors: Why you should not panic over new HIV strain

Today News Africa
Today News Africa
TODAY NEWS AFRICA L.L.C. is Africa's leading newspaper in the United States. Our media house is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia. Our Twitter handle is @todaynewsafrica and our email is contactus@todaynewsafrica.com

Must Read

National Arts Theatre: Consortia want CBN to stop action on purported takeover

Two Nigerian companies, Topwide Apeas and Jadeas Trust, have called on the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission,...

Opportunity for crypto in Africa is enormous and will impact everyone – Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel

Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel, speaking at AfricaCom 2019, has outlined how the implementation and use of...

Zedcap Partners adjudged best brokerage service firm at 2019 FMDQ gold awards

Zedcap Partners Limited (ZPL), the Securities Brokerage arm of Zedcrest Capital Limited has been adjudged the...

Thousands arrive in Addis Ababa to lift Africa’s industrial sector

Thousands of people have arrived in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, for the 2019 Africa Industrialization...

How to rank high on Google – Simon Ateba

Our website, todaynewsafrica.com, had great original content from across Africa, but we were still not ranking...

President Buhari congratulates Bayelsa governor-elect on bloody election victory

In a statement, the presidency in Nigeria said: "President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates most warmly, the All...

Nigerians sweep Jack Ma Foundation’s $1 million awards to 10 African entrepreneurs

Nigerian Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO of LifeBank company, on Saturday night won the first prize...

I’m a patriot – Nigeria Senate President Ahmad Lawan

The President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the ninth National Assembly has consciously...

Some American doctors on Thursday said no one should panic, after a raft of reports said researchers had identified a new strain of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The new discovery, made possible because of technology, was widely covered from CNN to New York Post with scary headlines such as ( “Scientists discover first new HIV strain in nearly two decades”) or (“Scientists discover first new HIV strain in almost two decades”).

But as noted by Salon, “since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, 75 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus. Yet it’s best to not let the headlines scare you with this one. Yes, technically a new strain has been identified, only because there is finally the technology available to identify it. This strain is very rare, and expected to have the same response to existing antiretroviral therapies, which work incredibly well; if diagnosed early, HIV positive people now have nearly the same life expectancy as those who are HIV negative. Moreover, like much reporting on medical research, there is important contextual information one needs to understand the significance of this news”.

“This is an interesting finding that enhances our understanding of HIV genetic diversity and viral evolution but will likely have little clinical significance, as individuals with this rare strain are expected to have similar responses to antiretroviral therapy,” Timothy Henrich, MD and Associate Professor at the University of California at San Francisco Department of Medicine, told Salon in a statement.

Researchers at Abbott Laboratories, a giant medical devices and health care company, discovered the new subtype, which is known as HIV-1 Group M, subtype L. Their findings were published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS).

“Identifying new viruses such as this one is like searching for a needle in a haystack,” Mary Rodgers, Ph.D., a principal scientist and head of the Global Viral Surveillance Program, Diagnostics, Abbott, and one of the study authors, said in a media statement. “By advancing our techniques and using next generation sequencing technology, we are pulling the needle out with a magnet. This scientific discovery can help us ensure we are stopping new pandemics in their tracks.”

Salon added: “When it comes to HIV-1, there are four different groups: Group M, Group N, Group O, and Group P. Group M is responsible for the majority of the global HIV epidemic, but within Group M there are at least nine genetically distinct subtypes of HIV-1. These are subtypes A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K and L (which is in the news), some of which are split further into sub-subtypes. Both subtypes and sub-subtypes of the HIV-1 M group are believed to have originated from a single chimpanzee-to-human transmission.

“In order to determine a new subtype, three cases must be discovered independently. The first two samples of Group M subtype L were found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 1980s and the 1990s. The third was collected in 2001, but it was challenging to sequence because of existing technology. However, given how genome sequencing has advanced, it was easier for Abbott researchers to complete the sequence and confirm the subtype.

“Indeed, new subtype discoveries have been a result of full-genome sequencing, and have helped identify unique recombinant forms. In other words, as technology advances, and scientists learn more, new subtypes will inevitably surface. The B strain in the HIV-1 group M is the most common in the United States. The most common strain in the world is subtype C. The drugs that work on the B strain work on most others, which is what researchers are expecting with subtype L.”

Dr. Robert Shafer, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, agreed with Henrich’s assessment. “There is a very high likelihood that this new subtype, or any new group M subtype of recombinant form, would not behave differently to how it would be detected by diagnostic assay or respond to antiviral treatment,” Shafer told Salon.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read also

Nigerian Wendy Okolo, one of the few black women to obtain PhD in Aerospace engineering who works at NASA, wins big award in U.S.

Nigerian-born Dr. Wendy Okolo is 2019 most promising engineer in the United States government.

Op-ed – Simon Ateba: The price of speaking truth to power

I was wondering why we do not get a lot of adverts on TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA despite thousands and thousands of readers...

President Buhari congratulates Bayelsa governor-elect on bloody election victory

In a statement, the presidency in Nigeria said: "President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates most warmly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate...

Buhari’s security forces planning to “kill” New York-based Nigerian journalist and publisher Omoyele Sowore – Report

Under the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, a radical former military dictator turned democrat, Nigerian security forces are planning to kill...

More Articles Like This

Follow us on social media!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!