Nature News reports a study has found that "HIV could be transmitted between men in the form of free-floating virus particles found in seminal fluid, rather than through HIV-infected cells found in semen." According to Nature News, "it has been difficult to study whether the virus's genetic material is transmitted in the form of infectious RNA virus particles or as DNA locked within infected cells in semen. The answer could determine which strategies are most useful for blocking transmission of the virus from one partner to another" (Check Hayden, 2/10). "By knowing the origin of the transmitted virus, scientists may be able to develop new vaccines, vaginal microbicides and drugs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV," lead author Davey Smith, of the University of California at San Diego, said, BERMANA reports (2/11). In a UC San Diego Medical Center press release, "Smith notes that because the study involved pairs of men who have sex with men, the findings do not comment directly on HIV transmission to women" (2/10).
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