University of Iowa researchers have isolated a virus known by the initials G-B-V-C which may extend the lives of people who are H-I-V-positive. U-of-I epidemiologist Dr. Daniel Diekema says it’s exciting to be a part of this leading-edge medical team.The virus now known as G-B-V-C was discovered in 1995 during research on hepatitis. It was originally called hepatitis-G. Dr. Diekema says it was later learned it did -not- cause hepatitis. In fact, all studies have found that it causes -no- illnesses but he says it may be leaping too far to say the virus is harmless.Researchers have found H-I-V-positive patients who did -not- carry the G-B-V-C infection were more than three times likely to die than those who had both viruses. Diekema explains what may come next in the search for a cure for H-I-V. He says some are talking about infecting patients with the infection, but he prefers to do more research.The U-of-I study focused on blood and mortality data from some 360 patients who were seen at the HIV-AIDS Clinic in Iowa City over a 12-year period. The study is being published in the September 6th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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