When someone becomes infected with HIV, it does it for life, but the virus does not evolve in the same way in all people. There is a small group of patients (less than 1%) in which the infection does not progress, although they do not take antiretroviral treatment. These people are the subject of numerous studies to identify the factors responsible for this natural capacity to control HIV. Now, researchers from the IrsiCaixa Research Institute of AIDS, the University of La Laguna (Tenerife) and the Carlos III Health Institute (Madrid) publish a study where they identify defects in the protein of the "envelope" (external membrane) of HIV-1 that would explain that 5 patients with different immunological profiles have managed to control the virus for more than 25 years without the need for treatment.
These 5 people contracted the infection with viruses of similar characteristics by means of the use of syringes, at the beginning of the 80 in Madrid. In this sense, the study also confirms that HIV-1 defects are inherited among viruses and can determine the clinical evolution of a person, causing the infection not progressing in it.