HIV: Experiencing the Pressures of Modern Life

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Science  04 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5714, pp. 1422-1424
DOI: 10.1126/science.1110009

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HIV/AIDS HIV, the wily virus that causes AIDS, is able to outwit any number of host immune defenses that it encounters during infection. However, as Nolan, James and Mallal discuss in their Perspective, there is increasing evidence that small pockets of individuals are relatively protected against HIV infection, and also experience less aggressive HIV disease progression, due to a fortuitous genetic barrier. The Perspective authors discuss the finding that a low copy number of the gene encoding CCL3L1, a ligand for CCR5 (the coreceptor that HIV must bind to for invasion of human T cells to proceed), can markedly alter HIV disease outcomes. The authors discuss the need to take into account genetic barriers like the CCR5-CCL3L1 network when developing vaccines against HIV.