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HIV Conquers Immune System Faster than Previously Realized

July 21, 2008

New research into the earliest events occurring immediately upon infection with HIV-I shows that the virus deals a stunning blow to the immune system earlier than was previously understood. According to scientists at Duke University Medical Center, this suggests the window of opportunity for successful intervention may be only a matter of days – not weeks – after transmission, as researchers had previously believed.

Appearing in the August issue of the Journal of Virology, the finding may make the challenge of designing an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine appear daunting. But researchers say the study has also yielded a blueprint for what a successful vaccine should look like, and moreover, when such a vaccine would need to work.

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