A gene has been identified that could predict the susceptibility of an individual to contracting HIV or developing AIDS, a report in the Journal of AIDS reveals. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discovered the gene, called RANTES. Variations in the gene means it works in two ways: while it could double a person's susceptibility to contracting HIV, it also delays the length of time for progression to AIDS in HIV infected people by about 40%. Dr Philip Murphy and his team looked at RANTES gene variations in HIV-positive and HIV-negative people who where participating in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. They found that the variations involved single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). One SNP, which appeared to increase the activity of RANTES gene, occurred significantly more often in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative individuals. This provides a possible explanation as to why some people are more susceptible to...

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