A paper in Cell Host & Microbe reports that HIV-1 attaches to the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines found on the surface of red blood cells to enter those cells. The DARC-negative genotype, found in most African people and many people of African decent, confers resistance to Plasmodium vivax malaria, but also gives a 40 percent increase in the odds of acquiring HIV-1, potentially explaining the disproportionate spread of the disease in Africans and African-Americans. Though more susceptible to the disease, people with this variation have a slower progression of HIV. In the Los Angeles Times, the senior author, Sunil Ahuja, cautions that social factors such as poverty, a lack of healthcare, and sexual behavior, probably play more of a role in HIV infection.
Gene Variation and Risk of Acquiring HIV
Jul 17, 2008