THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Scientists report they have discovered a new strain of HIV for the first time in almost two decades.
The new strain is a part of the same family of virus subtypes that have fueled the global HIV pandemic, according to Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research with the University of Missouri.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that existing treatments for HIV work against this strain.
“There’s no reason to panic or even to worry about it a little bit,” Fauci told CNN. “Not a lot of people are infected with this. This is an outlier.”
Still, scientists need to know what strains of the virus are circulating so that tests used to detect the disease are accurate.
“It can be a real challenge for diagnostic tests,” Mary Rodgers, a co-author of the report and a principal scientist at Abbott, told CNN. Abbott tests more than 60% of the world’s blood supply.
The findings were published Nov. 7 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
About 36.7 million in the world are living with HIV, according to World Health Organization.
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