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The human-HIV truce

posted Oct 9, 2011, 5:50 AM by Vinod Scaria
Indian researchers are tracking a genetic material with the potential to stop the dreaded virus, writes G.S. Mudur 

Vinod Scaria is a doctor and Manoj Hariharan studied biology in university. The two researchers, however, have spent the past several months discovering high-speed computers and software in a laboratory in New Delhi. And they have pitted their newly-acquired skills to unravel the mysterious “peace pacts” between some people and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the dreaded and incurable AIDS. 

The human - HIV truce in some, albeit rare, is no secret. The first signals surfaced during the 1990s ? about a decade after the discovery of HIV ? when doctors realised that a tiny fraction of HIV-infected people remained in good health years after infection. When doctors track HIV-infected people over many years ? whether it’s commercial sex workers in Kenya or haemophiliacs in the US ? they typically find some “lucky individuals” whose immune systems remain intact despite their exposure to HIV. 

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