By Ashlie Chandler / UW School of Public Health
University of Washington researchers have pinpointed genetic variants that markedly increase HIV infection risk among people exposed to the virus.
These variants, described in a study published earlier this month in PLOS Pathogens, raised the risk of HIV infection by two- to eight-fold.
For World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the United Nations and UNAIDS are exploring the challenges people face in learning their risk of HIV infection and in exercising their right to health. This new research improves awareness of genetic determinants of HIV infection, and might lead to new approaches to prevention.
“We know some people are exposed to HIV extensively but don’t get infected, and others who do become infected. We wanted to understand the factors that determine that,” said Jairam Lingappa, corresponding author for the study and professor in the Department of Global Health, which bridges the UW schools of Public Health and Medicine.