Medium Viral Loads are Most Infectious
Posted by pozlife on October 24, 2007
People with a moderate viral load are the most likely to transmit HIV to others, say researchers in a study published on Monday (Reuters.com, 10/22).
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined HIV-positive people in Europe, the United States and Africa.
Researchers claim that individuals with the highest viral loads were most infectious, but had the least amount of time to pass the virus to others due to AIDS-related illness and death. However, those with moderate levels of the virus had the most opportunities to pass it along to others. This suggests that the virus may have found a balance between infectiousness and virulence to maximize its spread, which could suggest viral evolution.
“We now want to see whether the virus has adapted in order to allow it to infect the most people, which seems plausible given the results of our study,” says Christophe Fisher, a London epidemiologist who led the study.
In addition to being the most infectious, researchers also found people with medium-level viral loads to be the largest group not receiving treatment.
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