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30 August 2004
Infection By Multiple HIV Strains Possible
by George Atkinson

Some HIV sufferers may be afflicted by more than one type of the virus, say researchers at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). They have shown that some patients may be susceptible to a second infection with another HIV virus including viruses resistant to drugs. Infection with a second HIV virus is termed superinfection.

"This is the first time we have seen a patient infected with two different forms of drug-resistant HIV," says MUHC clinician Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy. "These emerging drug resistant viruses present a treatment challenge and the existing drug cocktails will need to be tailored accordingly."

Dr. Mark Wainberg, a professor of Medicine at McGill University, said, "our findings are different than those previously published. We originally believed, once an individual was infected with one type of HIV they became immune to another HIV infection. Our findings clearly show that this is not the case and will have widespread implications for HIV management, diagnosis and prognosis."




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