A more transmissible and damaging sub-type of HIV, has been isolated, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

People living with the newly revealed subtype, experience doubles the rate of immune system decline (measured by the CD4 count level of infection-busting T cells) and has higher viral loads.

UNAIDS said the newly identified variant does not represent a major public health threat but underscores the urgency of speeding up the UN’s drive to end AIDS.

In a statement, the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Eamonn Murphy, noted that around 10 million people living with HIV are still not on antiretroviral therapy, “fuelling the continued spread of the virus and potential for further variants.”

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.