A recent research has found that a strain of HIV has become epidemic among patients in Cuba. The strain of the virus is known to result in AIDS in carriers within a time frame of three years if it left untreated. The virus is reported to cause a threat of epidemic in some patients who reported of having been involved in unprotected sexual activities with multiple partners. The study was published by international researchers who have been working with several patients, as well as doctors in the nation.
The study, published this week, explains that the strain of HIV is essentially composed of three subtypes of the virus. Researchers working at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, said that the mutated virus spreads too fast for patients to seek antiretroviral therapy before it is too late. The detailed study was published in the journal EBioMedicine.
The study has alarmed the AIDS researchers in the U.S. who claim that mutated viruses pose an additional difficulty in being diagnosed. They said that these viruses are likely to resist therapy, and it is difficult to develop a vaccine for them. A physician and specialist in infectious diseases, working with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Hector Bolivar, highlighted his previous knowledge of the mutation capacity of the virus. He said that he had long known that the virus is capable of creating new versions. It is now proved that there are over 60 strains of HIV type 1, developed because of mutations.
Researchers said that it normally takes around six to ten years for people infected with HIV to develop AIDS. However, the study showed that 22 people of the 72 recently infected cases developed AIDS within three years. They explained that this occurs due to the transmission of multiple viruses when people have unprotected sex with multiple partners. These viruses mutate within the host and develop AIDS in a shorter span of time.