HIV causes more damage to immune system than previously thought

HIV, the virus which leads to Aids, causes more widespread damage to the immune system than was previously thought, according to researchers at Edinburgh University. Using a highly sensitive test for the virus, they have found that it infects more than one type of cell in the immune system.

The findings suggest that while HIV infection of cells known as CD4 cells predominates early on in the disease - a well-established fact - HIV infection of cells known as CD8 cells may play a crucial role in the progression of Aids. Leading British Aids researchers are calling for urgent research to assess the clinical impact of the new information which they say will be important in the management and treatment of HIV and Aids. Liz Hunt

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