San Diego—Scientists have long sought to learn why in some HIV-infected individuals, known as long-term nonprogressors, the immune system is able to successfully keep the virus in check and substantially delay or prevent progression to AIDS. As far back as 1986, AIDS researcher Jay Levy, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, had evidence that white blood cells of long-term nonprogressors (but not those of progressors) produce an unknown chemical or chemicals that inhibit viral replication. But the identity of such a substance—called CD8 antiviral factor, or CAF—remained elusive.
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