A New Hope For HIV Treatment? Drug-Resistant Strain Found In Cyprus

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : August 26, 2022

A new recombinant strain of HIV “CRF91_cpx” has been discovered in Cyprus, baffling scientists and giving hope to patients with drug-resistant strains of the virus. 

The new strain, which doctors say may be resistant to current treatments, was found in an elderly woman who had been diagnosed with AIDS about years ago but did not respond to multiple courses of treatment until more recently. 

Genetic analysis revealed that her infection was caused by two distinct strains of HIV—one from Southeast Asia and one from Africa—that had merged together into one virus and mutated the usual genome structure of HIV even further. 

Here’s what you need to know about this new strain of HIV, so you can understand how it relates to your own health or that of your loved ones…

The Discovery Of A New Recombinant HIV-1 Strain

A new recombinant HIV-1 strain has been discovered in Cyprus. This strain is resistant to the current crop of antiretroviral drugs. However, this new strain is still susceptible to some older drugs. 

A New Hope For HIV Treatment? Drug-Resistant Strain Found In Cyprus

This discovery could lead to new treatments for HIV/AIDS. When taken with other antivirals, the old drugs may be able to fight off drug-resistant strains like the one found in Cyprus. 

The scientists who made this discovery hope that these findings will eventually result in a cure for AIDS and an end to death from AIDS.

Past Strains

In the past, various strains of HIV have been discovered that are resistant to different drugs. This new strain, found in Cyprus, is reportedly resistant to all current treatments. 

This is a huge setback for researchers and doctors who are working to find a cure for HIV. The hope is that this new strain will help them develop new and more effective treatments.

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The New Strain

This strain is different from other strains in that it is resistant to the current crop of drugs used to treat HIV. This discovery could be a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV. 

The new strain was found in a patient who had been living with HIV for over 10 years. The patient had been taking antiretroviral drugs, but the virus had still managed to mutate and become resistant to the drugs. 

This new strain could help scientists develop new drugs that are more effective against HIV.

The Implications

This new strain of HIV-1 was discovered in a patient who had been living with the virus for over 10 years. The patient had been taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) the entire time and had no other known risk factors for drug resistance. 

This is the first time this particular strain has been seen outside of Africa, where it was first identified in 2009. Scientists believe that while the mutation may have occurred independently in two people, there’s also the possibility that an individual transmitted the virus to both patients.

How Did They Make It?

Scientists have discovered a new strain of HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, in Cyprus. This new strain is resistant to two classes of drugs used to treat HIV infection. 

The discovery was made by researchers at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and published in the journal Science. It was found in a sample taken from an infected woman living on the island. 

The study concluded that this recombinant form of HIV-1 might be able to evade treatment with what are currently considered ‘first-line’ treatments: protease inhibitors and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). 

However, they noted that there are no reported cases of such treatment failure so far; but it would be worth considering whether resistance should be anticipated when prescribing these drugs. 

What Are The Treatments Available Right Now?

The available treatments for HIV are antiretroviral therapy (ART), prophylactic treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). ART involves taking a combination of drugs that suppress the virus and prevent it from replicating. 

Prophylactic treatment is a preventative measure taken before exposure to the virus, usually in the form of a daily pill. PrEP is similar to prophylactic treatment but is taken only when there is a high risk of exposure to the virus. 

The new strain of HIV found in Cyprus is resistant to all three of these treatments. This discovery is concerning, as it could mean that the virus is evolving and becoming more difficult to treat.

What’s Coming Next?

The next step is to study the new strain further to understand how it developed resistance to current drugs. Additionally, researchers will work on developing new treatments that can target this strain. It is hoped that this discovery will lead to new advances in HIV treatment and help improve the lives of those affected by the virus.


🔵National Library Of Medicine (n.d) HIV-1 Infection in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean European Frontier: A Densely Sampled Transmission Dynamics Analysis from 1986 to 2012 (Available On):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786036/

🔵National Library Of Medicine (n.d) New hope for eradication of HIV from the body: the role of polymeric nanomedicines in HIV/AIDS pharmacotherapy (Available On):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3994339/

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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