Genetic mutation hope for Aids victims is demolished

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The Independent Online
A dying man in Australia has demolished early hopes that a genetic mutation, found in about 1 per cent of Caucasians, might confer resistance to HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, Dr Robyn Biti, of Westmead Hospital in Sydney, details a gay male patient who appears to be developing Aids despite having a double mutation of a gene known as CCR5.

Last August, research in Cell magazine, based on work at the Aaron Diamond Research Center in New York, had suggested that people who had a pair of faulty CCR5 genes did not produce a protein on their immune cells that HIV needed to attach to. This, in turn, would mean that people with the double CCR5 mutation should be immune to HIV. Charles Arthur