Has HIV become more virulent?

060505_hiv_virus_02

Damage to patients’ immune systems is happening sooner now than it did at the beginning of the HIV epidemic, suggesting the virus has become more virulent, according to a new study in the May 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Conventional wisdom says several years will pass between HIV infection and the need for antiretroviral therapy. However, clinicians have observed that patients are entering HIV care with lower initial CD4 cell counts than in previous years and now often require antiretroviral therapy soon after entering care, raising the question of whether HIV has become more virulent.

Full press release here.

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