Research Shows HIV in Semen Can Differ from HIV in Blood

A group of American scientists have found evidence that HIV-1 found in semen is different from the same virus found in blood, which they think is likely because of the changes the virus undergoes in the male genital tract.

Professor Ronald Swanstrom of North Carolina University, who led the research team, said that they have found that the virus can grown in the seminal tract in two different ways. The study was done by comparing the gene encoding of the major surface protein of HIV in both semen and blood.

They have found out that the virus population in semen was similar to that in the blood, which would suggest that the virus traveled to the genital tract by way of blood and not being generated locally in the seminal tract.

One way for the virus to grow in the seminal tract is by having one or more viruses grow rapidly over a short period such that the viral population is homogeneous as compared to virus found in the blood. The other method is by having the viruses replicate in T-cells in the seminal tract over a long period, thereby creating a virus that is distinct from its blood counterpart.

Source: The Times of India

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