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Scientists learn why even treated genital herpes sores boost the risk of HIV infection
Date:8/2/2009

tion," the authors write. This spark likely ignites once HIV penetrates tiny breaks in genital skin that commonly occur during sex. "Additionally," the authors continue, "the close proximity to DC-SIGN-expressing DCs [dendritic cells] is likely to fuel these embers and provide a mechanism for more efficient localized spread of initial infection." The investigators conclude that reducing the HSV-2-associated risk of HIV infection will require diminishing or eliminating the long-lived immune-cell environment created by HSV-2 infection in the genital tract, ideally through an HSV vaccine. Further, they hypothesize that other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may create similar cellular environments conducive to HIV infection, explaining why STIs in general are a risk factor for acquiring HIV.


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Contact: Laura Sivitz
sivitzl@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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