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HIV Virus May Hide in Brain

The brain can be a convenient hiding place for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

That's the finding of Swedish researchers who analyzed samples from about 70 HIV-infected patients who'd been taking anti-HIV drugs. The tests showed that about 10 percent of the patients -- a larger proportion than expected -- had traces of HIV in their spinal fluid but not in their blood.

Another study by the researchers found that 60 percent of 15 HIV-infected patients treated with medication for several years showed signs of inflammation in their spinal fluid, although the levels were lower than they were without treatment.

Anti-HIV drugs can prevent the virus from multiplying, but the virus also infects the brain and can cause damage if the infection isn't treated, according to lead researcher Dr. Arvid Eden, a doctor and researcher at the Institute of Biomedicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
 
 

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