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Medical News & Perspectives
September 26, 2001

Gene Mutation Link With HIV Resistance

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JAMA. 2001;286(12):1441-1442. doi:10.1001/jama.286.12.1441-JMN0926-3-1

People who inherit only one copy of a mutated gene that has an effect on HIV's ability to enter CD4 T-helper cells appear to be substantially less likely to become infected with the virus, according to a new report by researchers at New York University School of Medicine in New York City and collaborators at other institutions.

Such a protective effect, if proven, falls far short of completely safeguarding individuals who carry a single copy of the gene mutation from the risk of HIV infection. But, if the study's findings are validated, they suggest that drugs under development that are designed to mimic the mutation's effects need not work perfectly in order to offer a meaningful degree of protection.

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