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Viral load may be related to your transmitting partner

Posted in General, Information on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment

Now this is interesting…

US researchers have found that viral load in individuals recently infected with HIV is closely related to that of the individual who transmitted the virus.

In the online edition of AIDS, researchers noted, “We found a strong correlation between HIV-1 RNA levels in source and recipient partners in HIV-1 transmission pairs”.

The study also provided some insights into the factors contributing to the continuing HIV epidemic. Most notably, they found approximately two-thirds of the source individuals who transmitted HIV had only recently been infected with the virus themselves.

Viral load in early HIV infection has been identified as an important factor in disease progression and individuals who have higher viral loads at this time have a poorer overall prognosis.

Researchers from the UCSF Options Project sought to determine the relationship between viral load in the source partner and in the partner they infected within identified transmission pairs.

Their research involved 24 individuals with evidence of recent HIV infection. The study included total of 23 source individuals (one individual transmitted HIV to two partners). All 47 individuals included in the study were gay men.

The viral characteristics of nine of the transmitting individuals suggested that they had recently been infected with HIV. This finding adds to research suggesting that recently infected (and usually undiagnosed individuals) are a key factor in the continuing HIV epidemic.

The study’s analysis showed viral load in the source and infected partners were closely correlated.

The researchers noted that further study is needed to better identify the viral genetic characteristics associated with higher or lower HIV-1 RNA levels, and to further understand host immune responses that shape viral replication over time.

To read more about this study:

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One Response to “Viral load may be related to your transmitting partner”

  • Harlan Kamal says:

    Wow!, this was a real quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I keep putting it off and never seem to get something done

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