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10% of Europeans Safe from HIV

It appears that around 10% of people of European ancestry are unable to be infected by HIV. These individuals carry a genetic mutation that blocks the virus from entering cells. It appears that the source of this mutation was the Great Plague of the middle ages, which was not the bacterial bubonic plague, but was instead "a continuing series of epidemics of a lethal, viral, haemorrhagic fever that used the CCR5 as an entry port into the immune system."

It remains to be seen whether this will assist with efforts to create an anti-HIV vaccine.

Comments (2)


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1. I hope this leads to some kind of effective gene-therapy.

2. But on a more selfish note: if there's quasi absolute proof that "delta32" makes you immune to HIV infection, I think that would take of a heavy weight off an entire generation's shoulders (at least 10% of them). Not that people will rush out to find out. But still...

3. Of course, as long as there are uncertainties surrounding this mutation, things remain the same, even if people knew they are carrying "delta32".


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