They have special white blood cells that can only be produced when the virus attacks the body. However, even with the most sophisticated tests, HIV could not be found in these individuals, implying that the virus had tried to infect them but the immune system kicked it out. At the AIDS Information Centre in Kampala, the UVRI scientists are studying 70 discordant couples to see if some of them are indeed resistant to HIV. These are couples that have had unprotected sex for more than a year, one partner has had HIV for long while the other has not become infected.
"We have set up a clinic in Kampala where doctors and counsellors do a lot of counselling and give them condoms to reduce risky sexual behaviour," Kaleebu said. Prof. Heiner Grosskurth, the Director of the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, said: "A lack of ability to becoming HIV infected is extremely rare, but there is evidence meanwhile that people who have this characteristic exist worldwide, although in very small numbers." Kaleebu cautioned that nearly all people are vulnerable to HIV and Ugandans should not relax simply because a few individuals seem to be resistant to the virus.
"It has to be clear that this apparent resistance is not a common thing. If you are HIV negative and your partner is HIV positive we cannot say you are resistant and you cannot become infected. If you continue to have unprotected sex you might become infected in the long run," said Kaleebu.
TPJ: Could this be human evolution at work? Uganda at one point had one of the highest rates of epidemic from HIV/AIDS at 29% of the population. However, by 2001 the rate was at 5%!!! We know that humans have developed immunities at different occasions in human history and that is evolution at work. Anti-evolution groups often cite why haven't humans evolved wings or something dramatic but first of all evolution is microscopic in nature on a cellular level and can take billions of years. It took ages for humans to evolve from monkey to man so unfortunately for our western, impatient, demand for instant gratification evolution works on its own time.
The evolutionary struggle for survival of the fittest led to the refinement [evolution] of intricate immune systems, including the adaptive immune system. Innate immunity, preformed and directly inherited, is the first line of defense against disease. Click here for another great article on the human evolution of the immune system.
TPJ: Plus, it is my opinion that this discovery blows a hole in the theory of many Christians that HIV/AIDS is punishment by God for homosexuality and for the rest of society for "allowing" homosexuality to exist and even (the horror!!) be tolerated. If HIV/AIDS is a punisment from God for tolerating homosexuality then why are some immune from it regardless of having sex with someone infected? And how would "God" allow someone who is against homosexuality get HIV/AIDS from a partner because the odds suggest that such an instance has happened?
How could someone have (for example) "gay sex" with an infected person with HIV/AIDS and not get sick if HIV/AIDS was sent by "God" to punish just that very thing? Is it possible that the human body found a loop hole in "God's judgement?" Then how can this "God" be all powerful? And if he's not all powerful then why call him "God?"
A long time ago it was the plague, then tuberculosis, then polio, then meases and now HIV/AIDS. It is only a matter of time that we evolve to be able to defeat this disease as well. It's an age old battle between viruses/diseases and human immune systems. Diseases/viruses evolve to get past our drugs, then our immune systems and drugs evolve to defeat the new threat and back and forth it goes.
Anyway, in other news the Vermont legislature has over-ridden the Governor's veto to legalize same-sex marriage!! Yey!! The momentum just keeps picking up after Iowa's decision. I find it interesting and promising that the same-sex marriage movement has only picked up more support and momentum despite the shocking defeat of Prop. 8 in California.
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