Viruses That May Be All In The Hiv Family

The Eighth International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam last month ignited a heated controversy over reports of at least 30 patients in the U.S. who appear to have AIDS but do not test positive for HIV. Since then, three teams of scientists have weighed in with evidence suggesting culprits. Researchers at Cornell Medical Center in New York, led by Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, studied the blood cells of five non-HIV AIDS patients. The team found evidence of a previously unknown retrovirus in the same family as HIV in blood samples from these patients, according to Stephen S. Morse, a virologist at Rockefeller University and co-author of a paper Laurence submitted to the Lancet, a British journal. "We're quite sure it's not HIV-1 and reasonably sure it's not HIV-2," says Morse.

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