As the decade comes to a close, scientists have made a jarring discovery. Apparently, there’s a brand new strain of HIV.
“The strain is a part of the Group M version of HIV-1,” CNN reports, adding “the same family of virus subtypes to blame for the global HIV pandemic, according to Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research along with the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.”
Co-author of the report Mary Rodgers says finding new strains begins to present a “real challenge for diagnostic tests.” As the site explains, “Her company tests more than 60% of the world’s blood supply, she said, and they have to look for new strains and track those in circulation so ‘we can accurately detect it, no matter where it happens to be in the world.'”
Thankfully current medications are reportedly effective against the strain, which is the first new Group M variant detected since 2000.
“There’s no reason to panic or even to worry about it a little bit,” Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said, according to the site. “Not a lot of people are infected with this. This is an outlier.”
However, it is reportedly unclear how the new strain “may impact the body differently, if it does act differently at all.” Read the full report here.