I have a question about a new HIV variant I have recently read about. The variant is called HIV 3 and is apparently a drug (HAART?) resistant form of HIV which progresses rapidly to AIDS. I am wondering if this variant of HIV 3 is picked up and detected by the standard ELISA or HIV 1/HIV 2 tests. Are previous negative results with an HIV1/HIV2 test at risk of inaccuracy if someone has this new HIV 3 variant? Thank you so much for your guidance and response.
A new variant of HIV was identified for the first time in a human several months ago. It was designated HIV-1 variant P, not HIV-3. Until now, all human HIV-1 infections were with variant M, the vast majority, and variants N and O, which are rare. M, N and O originated in chimpanzees; variant P appears to have evolved in gorillas. (HIV-2 is separate and originated in a different primate, the sooty mangabey.) Presumably research is underway to see if other humans have variant P, but only this patient is known so far. She is from Cameroon but was diagnosed in France. Her routine HIV antbody test was positive.
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