Tags: hiv | resistant | sex | workers

Some Sex Workers HIV Resistant

Monday, 13 Feb 2012 03:08 PM


Some sex workers appear to have developed – or were born with – a natural resistance to HIV infection, Canadian researchers have found.
HIV-resistant sex workers in Africa have a weak vaginal response to the AIDS virus, which may protect them, according to a research team lead by Dr. Michel Roger of the University of Montreal Hospital Centre and the university’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
The study’s findings, reported in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, came as surprise to the scientists, who said they expected to find the opposite effect, given the women’s high exposure to the virus.
“In this part of the world, women represent over 60 percent of HIV cases, and this proportion continues to increase,” Roger said, in a release on the study. “Studying women who are naturally resistant to the virus enables researchers to identify interesting information in terms of developing vaccinations or [antiviral] gels that could prevent transmission of HIV.”

Roger has been working with women from Benin and Zimbabwe over the past 15 years to get a better idea of the immune and molecular mechanisms involved in the transmission of HIV.
The researchers found that when these women come into contact with the AIDS virus, the immune system cells in their vaginas produced fewer inflammatory molecules – known as cytokines and chemokines -- than the same cells in HIV-infected women.
These molecules play a role in HIV’s ability to invade the body.


© HealthDay

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Some women may have a natural ability to fend off HIV infection.
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