-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- New research explains why
immune function actually improves in a small number of patients
with drug-resistant HIV.
In those cases, the virus has mutations that protect it against
some HIV drugs but also thwart its ability to kill immune cells,
explained the researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
This is the first study to show that not all HIV is equally bad
for the immune system, the authors noted.
"These findings suggest -- in contrast to how these patients have been treated in the past -- that changing treatments might not be needed in order to help the immune system," senior author and infectious disease researcher Dr. Andrew Badley, said in a Mayo news release.
The study is published in the Nov. 24 online edition of the
HIV causes AIDS by progressively killing CD4 T-cells that direct
the immune system. The loss of these cells makes patients
susceptible to infections and cancers. Over time, HIV can develop
mutations that make it resistant to drugs. But only a few of those
mutations also halt HIV's ability to kill immune cells, the
researchers explained in the news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
has more about
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