In a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists detailed the new strain as a “recombinant” virus – a hybrid of two virus strains. Called A3/02 – a cross between the 02AG and A3 viruses – the strain can develop into AIDS in just five years after first infection – one of the shortest time periods for HIV-1 types.
“HIV is an extremely dynamic and variable virus. New subtypes and recombinant forms of HIV-1 have been introduced to our part of the world, and it is highly likely that there are a large number of circulating recombinants of which we know little or nothing,” said senior author Patrik Medstran, professor of clinical virology at Lund University. “We therefore need to be aware of how the HIV-1 epidemic changes over time.”