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Outside the Lab Microbiology and immunology, Microbiology and immunology, Clinical care

The Secret Life of HIV

Every so often, a discovery in the world of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) research will prompt the use of the phrase “Holy Grail.” Usually, it’s a proposed treatment for the disease, or early-stage work on a possible preventative vaccine. But those may not be the only interventions deserving of a grand title. What if there were a way to detect HIV earlier than ever – during the acute phase of infection, when the disease is both most transmissible and potentially most treatable? A landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine (1) details a cohort of high-risk individuals whose HIV status was tracked over time with twice-weekly nucleic acid testing, allowing researchers to detect the presence of the virus long before they became symptomatic or began secreting antibodies.

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About the Author

Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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