News Releases

Researchers from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard discover how a genetic factor increases the immune system's ability to control HIV.

New insights into the mystery of natural HIV immunity

A new finding from the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard may have implications for designing an effective AIDS vaccine.

05/May/2010

When people become infected by HIV, it's usually only a matter of time, barring drug intervention, until they develop full-blown AIDS. However, a small number of people exposed to the virus progress very slowly to AIDS — and some never develop the disease at all.

In the late 1990s, researchers showed that a very high percentage of those naturally HIV-immune people, who represent about one in 200 infected individuals, carry a gene called HLA B57. Now a team of researchers from the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard has revealed a new effect that contributes to this gene's ability to confer immunity.

Link to full MIT news release. 

Media Contacts: Sue McGreevey, smcgreevey@partners.org, 617 724-2764
Jennifer Hirsch, MIT, jfhirsch@mit.edu, 617 253-1682

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