HIV Patients May be Infected with More than One Type of HIV

Some HIV patients may be plagued by more than one type of HIV infection according to researchers at the McGill AIDS Centre, Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital and the McGill University Health Centre. They have shown that some patients may be susceptible to a second infection with another HIV virus including viruses resistant to drugs. This infection with a second HIV virus is called superinfection.

This is the first time we have seen a patient infected with two different forms of drug-resistant HIV, says MUHC clinician Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy, an associate professor of medicine at McGill University and co-author of the study. These emerging drug resistant viruses present a treatment challenge and the existing drug cocktails will need to be tailored accordingly.

Our findings are different than those previously published, says Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital clinician Dr. Mark Wainberg, a professor of Medicine at McGill University and senior author of the study. We originally believed once an individual was infected with one type of HIV they became immune to another HIV infection. Our findings clearly show that this is not the case and will have widespread implications for HIV management, diagnosis and prognosis.

This groundbreaking news is in part due to the development of a new technical tool that permits cloning of the virus.

Source: McGill University