By Ria Novosti
A scientific research center in Siberia said Wednesday that it has discovered a new strain of HIV in Russia and that the virus is spreading “at a rapid rate.”
The subtype, known as 02_AG/A, was first detected in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in 2006 and now accounts for more than 50 percent of new HIV infections in the region, Novosibirsk’s Koltsovo science city said in a statement.
The number of HIV-positive people living in the Novosibirsk Region has leaped from about 2,000 in 2007 up to 15,000 in 2012, the statement said, citing Russia’s Federal AIDS Center.
02_AG/A might be the most virulent form of HIV in Russia, said Natalya Gashnikova, head of the retroviruses department at the Vektor state biotechnology research center at Koltsovo, whose specialists discovered the strain.
She said the virus could spread much faster than Russia’s current leading HIV strain, subtype A(I).