A new strain of the Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was recently discovered in a woman from Cameroon (west-central Africa). The HIV-1 virus is able to mutate and changes in its genetic material occur very rapidly.
The public health implications of this new subtype of HIV-1 need to be determined. This strain is very deadly (the woman that had this virus died of AIDS). Unfortunately, infections with subtype N HIV-1 are not detectable with the current blood test used to screen for HIV infections. This screening test is called an enzyme immunoassay test. Fortunately, the blood test used to confirm whether a person has been infected with HIV-1 is still able to detect this new subtype. Currently, this subtype has only been identified in Africa. It however, may make detection and early treatment of HIV infections more difficult.
Read more at Suite101: New AIDS Virus Strain Found http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/microbiology/14632#ixzz0iOqEc19f
Rapid Onset of Full-Blown AIDS Reported in Drug-Resistant HIV Case
New York City health officials today announced that a patient rapidly developed full-blown AIDS shortly after being diagnosed with a rare, drug-resistant strain of the HIV virus.
The patient was diagnosed in December with 3-DCR HIV, a strain that is resistant to three different classes of anti-retroviral medication.
Officials at the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the patient is a male in his mid-40s who had multiple male sex partners and unprotected sex, often while using crystal methamphetamine.
"This patient's infection with an HIV-1 strain that is not amenable to standard antiretroviral therapy, along with his rapid clinical and immunological deterioration, is alarming," said Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and a leading expert on the disease
City health officials said the man appeared to have developed AIDS within two to three months after he was infected, or 20 months at the most. In most other cases, onset of AIDS occurs more than 10 years after initial infection with HIV.
Crystal Meth Use Criticized
Doctors and health officials are quick to blame the growing use of crystal meth for many new cases of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
"The rapidly growing crystal meth epidemic in New York City continues to play a significant role in facilitating the transmission of HIV," said Dr. Antonio Urbina, medical director of HIV education and training at St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center in New York.
"In light of the emergence of this virulent new strain, health care providers must be especially vigilant in ... recognizing the signs and symptoms of crystal methamphetamine use in their patients," Urbina said.