A new strain of the AIDS virus that swiftly causes disease and resists virtually all anti-HIV drugs has been detected in New York City, causing health officials there to issue a nationwide alert through the federal Centers for Disease Control.
AIDS clinics and health departments throughout California already have been notified of the single case, but no evidence of the new virus strain has been reported anywhere other than New York, specialists monitoring the disease said.
In San Francisco, Dr. John Greenspan, director of the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF, said Friday that all community physicians and city clinics treating HIV or AIDS patients have been informed of the New York case. But because the new virus strain has been detected in only one person so far, he said it is "very unlikely" that it would reach beyond the urban center where it was found.
"It's a new warning, however, that safe sex practices remain the most effective way of preventing any HIV infection," Greenspan said.
The article doesn't speculate on the origin of this resistant and aggressive strain, but I have my own thoughts on the matter. I've been expecting something like this for years. Seems like the accepted things is that if you are poz you can bareback with other poz men, and no one worries because they are already infected. Combine people on different drug therapies with lots of poz men barebacking and you get a breeding ground for resistant strains. I'm not up on the research, but last time I checked there was documentation for reinfection and superinfection.
I wonder how long until a resistant strain starts to spread and antivirals become broadly ineffective.