hiv-in-sperm_1

hiv-in-sperm_1

More than three-quarters of new HIV infections worldwide are acquired through sexual contact, nearly all of which involve at least one male. As researchers have been uncovering a growing number of differences between the semen-based virus and blood-borne populations—and the number of people with the virus continues to rise rapidly—the race to piece together a better understanding of the virus’s makeup and behavior in the male genital tract has grown ever more urgent.

Upon infection, the virus in the blood and semen are often nearly identical, but over time, previous studies have shown, the different populations become varied, making it “clear that the virus in the blood does not always represent the virus at the site of the transmission,” Jeffrey Anderson and Li-Hua Ping, both of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of North Carolina, noted in an e-mail to Scientific American.

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