Chandigarh, Oct 21 (UNI) A study related to protection against HIV infection despite repeated exposure has found that some individuals have the natural ability to resist the infection and the findings could help in the development of a vaccine against the dreaded disease, Dr Ajay Wanchu from Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER said here.
Speaking at a press conference at PGIMER yesterday, Dr Wanchu said that contrary to conventional wisdom which suggested that the more one was exposed to the virus the more one was likely to acquire the infection, ''There are a small number of individuals who require sustained exposure to the virus to keep them protected from the infection.'' ''The genetic makeup of an individual can affect susceptibility to several diseases. Not all individuals exposed to HIV infection acquire the infection. These individuals who do not get infected despite repeated expose have been mostly described among sex workers in Africa.'' The Indian Council of Medical Research funded study, conducted by PGIMER's Department of Internal Medicine in collaboration with the Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, has been published by international publications, he said.
It was carried out for the first time in India among partners of HIV infected individuals, who have remained uninfected despite repeated sexual exposures at a time when they were not aware that the partners were HIV infected.