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Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission Linked to Gene Change

Certain variants make it more likely babies will acquire the AIDS-causing virus, researchers say

TUESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that a genetic variation increases the likelihood that babies will acquire HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from their HIV-infected mothers at birth.

Anita De Rossi of the University of Padova, Italy, and colleagues studied 300 children born to HIV-positive mothers. Those who had either of two gene variations were much more likely to acquire the virus than those without the variations.

The children were born between 1984 and 1996 to mothers who didn't take antiretroviral drugs.

The genetic variations have been previously linked to the level of HIV in the blood in infected people.

The study was published online May 24 in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

More information

For more about HIV, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, May 24, 2010

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