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HIV Infection Different in Women and Men

A study released today in Nature magazine found that women are infected by the HIV virus differently than men. Most women in the study were infected by multiple variants of the HIV virus while every man in the study was infected by just one variant.

Based on the study’s findings, Dr. Julie Overbaugh, who headed the research, said “It may be that a vaccine might work better in men than in women.” Overbaugh added that this study raises questions for women’s health that researchers must now investigate such as whether HIV infects women in a different manner than men, if HIV infects different cells in women than men, and if HIV replicates differently in women.

The study, led by the Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center of Seattle, tracked heterosexual men and women in Kenya for over four years.

Sources:

Reuters - December 30, 1999]

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