Oxford scientists have found that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gradually loses strength and becomes less dangerous.
Long-term observations of patients in South Africa and Botswana make the researchers concluded that HIV has undergone a destructive mutation. Now, the virus needs more time to cause AIDS in humans. Researchers believe that these changes will help effectively combat the spread of HIV.
HIV is a master of disguise – is able to mutate rapidly and effortlessly adapt to the immune system. However, occasionally a person infected with a particularly effective immune system. Then the virus is trapped between a hammer and the anvil either dies or is adapted to survive. And this adaptation doesn’t go costless. The price for surveillance is lost of ability to replicate which in turn causes the HIV less infectious and need more time to cause AIDS. Thus, the ‘weaker’ virus spreads slowly and makes HIV 10% “less efficient” to replicate.