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New strain of AIDS in South America

28.10.2001 | Source:



The PanAmerican Health Organisation spokesperson has confirmed that a new strain of AIDS has appeared in Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay, possibly Brazil.

Rafael Mazin, PMO spokesperson for AIDS, has confirmed in an interview with the BBC that the new strain of this disease could have spread into Brazil. He declared that the AIDS virus is in a constant state of mutation.

The new strain of AIDS, named BF, was discovered by a team of scientists from Latin America and the USA, who were investigating extracts taken from patients in Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay, all of whom were either intravenous drugs users or who had had unprotected sexual relations with infected persons.

The tram of scientists discovered that the previously known B and F forms of the virus had combined to form a new strain, BF, a stable subtype. This would indicate that a vaccine developed in North America might not be effective in the South. A vaccine which works for one subtype of AIDS is not necessarily effective against another subtype.

Horacio Salomon, a member of the team of scientists which carried out the investigation, said that “In Europe and the United States, research towards a vaccine is concentrated in HIV B-type. It is not yet known that a vaccine for this type would be effective against others”.

The new strain has certain peculiarities, namely that it is present in 90% of cases of HIV among heterosexuals in Argentine, while the subtype B is present among 90% of homosexuals.



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