Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When AIDS viruses are transmitted despite treatment

24.06.2013
While antiretroviral drugs offer an efficient means of preventing the replication of HIV in the blood, shedding of HIV may occur in semen, so that other persons can become infected during unprotected sexual intercourse.

This occurs in particular if the male genital tract also has other viral infections. That is the conclusion reached by a scientist who is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

In principle, modern combination therapies are very effective at keeping AIDS causative agents in check. The treatment usually leads to a situation in which there is no longer any evidence of Human-Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV) in the body. In this way, the drugs can also reduce the disease transmission rate to just one tenth. So why do new infections occur despite treatment?

Sperm containing a cocktail of viruses
The answer, according to findings recently published(*) by the Swiss researcher Sara Gianella Weibel and her American colleagues, is that other viruses also play a role. Working at the University of California in San Diego, the SNSF-funded scientist studied the semen of 114 HIV-infected men undergoing treatment who have sex with men. She found that the seminal fluid of 11 of the men contained a considerable quantity of HI viruses, even though the viral load of the blood of all of the men was very low. In eight of these 11 cases, Gianella Weibel also found evidence of various forms of herpes.

Locally activated immune system
Some of these herpes viruses, such as cytomegalovirus, often remain unnoticed. However, if the viruses infect the male genital tract, they locally activate the immune system. As a result, there is a build-up of immune cells, including those in which HIV replicate, in the genital area. “Our data suggests that we must also direct our focus towards other viruses, if we really want to interrupt the transmission of AIDS,” explains Gianella Weibel.

(*) Sara Gianella, Davey M. Smith, Milenka V. Vargas, Susan J. Little, Douglas D. Richman, Eric S. Daar, Michael P. Dube, Fan Zhang, Christina G. Ginocchio, Richard H. Haubrich, Sheldon R. Morris and the CCTG 592 Team (2013). Shedding of HIV and human herpesviruses in the semen of effectively treated HIV-1 infected men who have sex with men. Clinical Infectious Diseases online. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit252
(Manuscript available from the SNSF; e-mail: com@snf.ch)

Contact
Dr. Sara Gianella Weibel
Center For Aids Research (CFAR)
University of California San Diego
La Jolla CA, 92093-0679, USA
E-mail: gianella@ucsd.edu

Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.snsf.ch

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>