Hemophilia and long-term HIV infection—is there a protective link?
People with the genetic blood clotting disorder hemophilia who have been infected with HIV for decades have an increased proportion of immune cells in their blood that specifically target HIV. This protective immune response helps chronically infected hemophilia patients survive, even during periods of HIV activity, according to a study published in BioResearch Open Access.
Volker Daniel and colleagues, University of Heidelberg and Kurpfalz Hospital, Germany, compared the levels of a class of HIV-reactive immune cells called CD8+ lymphocytes in the blood of hemophilia patients infected with HIV for 30 years and in health individuals. They present the results in "HIV-Specific CD8+ T Lymphocytes in Blood of Long-Term HIV-Infected Hemophilia Patients."
"Understanding the reasons for long-term clinical stability in hemophilia patients living with HIV remains an important research goal, with high clinical significance," says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. "Using a unique cohort of patients, who have been living with HIV-1 for more than 30 years, the authors propose that it is the cellular anti-HIV-1 response in combination with anti-retroviral therapy that ensures the long-term survival of these patients."