New Aggressive Form Of HIV Discovered In Cuba

| by Michael Allen

An aggressive, new strain of human immunodeficiency virus was recently discovered in Cuba.

Normally, HIV takes six to 10 years to transform into AIDS, but Cuban HIV can turn into AIDS in three years, reported

A team from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, which conducted the research, warns that this strain is a serious problem because someone who has HIV, but isn't aware of it, has less time to seek to antiretroviral treatments. The research was published in EBioMedicine.

Anne-Mieke Vandamme led the study after hearing that HIV was quickly developing in the island country. Vandamme's team tested the blood of 73 people who had the Cuban variant of HIV with 22 people who had typical HIV and found radical differences.

According to Medical News Daily, "If a person contracts multiple strains of HIV — typically by engaging in unprotected sex with multiple infected partners — then these strains can recombine into a new variant of HIV within the host. The new Cuban variant of HIV is one such recombinant version of the virus."

Sources:, Medical News Daily Image Credit: NIAID