[Question #6252] New Information HIV

17 months ago
Hello Dr,

I would like to enquire into the news today on cnn where it has been reported that a new hiv 1 group m strain has been identified type L i think they are calling it. My understanding is that it might be isolated in the Kongo i am not from there but the same continent though.My questions are as follows and your opinion will be appreciated, 

1. Does this invalidate any previous negative test's  i have had? All were 4th gen elisa.
2. Do the rules stay the same for acquisition as before or is this a game changer?
3. Any input not to worry about this new info will be appreciated please.

Thanks  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago

Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  There has been a lot of media attention to the fact that this new strain has now been identified from specimens collected from three patients several years ago.  The excitement over this new strain is not because current tests and therapies do not work but is because it provides new information on the pace of HIV evolution.  Currently available tests reliable detect it and currently used therapies work just as well against it.  Thus it is not something that would be missed by current testing.  In answer to your specific questions:

1. Does this invalidate any previous negative test's  i have had? All were 4th gen elisa.
No, 4th generation tests would certainly detect this strain as well.  You can have complete faith in your prior test results.

2. Do the rules stay the same for acquisition as before or is this a game changer?
This is not a game changer in any way.  The discovery just lets us know about how this virus evolves over time.

3. Any input not to worry about this new info will be appreciated please
I would not worry in the least. 

I hope this information is helpful to you.  EWH


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17 months ago
Thanks Dr appreciate the feedback!! It was my initial feeling as well until i read this article, 


https://7news.com.au/news/health/scientists-discover-new-hiv-strain-c-545225

I am not asking Dr to comment on this article for your info only, unless you deem it neccessary.

Otherwise i  thank you for your quick response and detailed response which has allayed my fear it is appreciated and i wish you well. 

Regards

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
I really would not worry about the content of the article.  Even the person quoted there was assuring about the findings.  Your past results are reliable.  EWH
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17 months ago
Thank you Dr!
17 months ago
Sorry Dr just for future reference as this test is used quite often here for screening purposes i would like your opinion i just remembered i did a 3rd generation finger prick rapid point of care test about 2 weeks ago just as a general health screening for life insurance policy, i read the info brochure on it while we were waiting for it to complete and the brochure said it is accurate for all sub types etc do you think this test would pick it up? It had a specificity of  99.8 and sensitivity of 99.9

Thanks
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago

Yes, I would anticipate that rapid finger stick tests would also detect the new HIV type.

As you know, we provide up to three responses for each question.  This is my 3rd response.  Thus, as per forum guidelines, this thread will now be closed.  Take care.  Please don't worry about this new subtype.  As I explained, it is of interest ONLY because of what it tells scientists about the evolution of HIV and NOT for any known clinical reason.  EWH

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