Articles on Viruses

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A women gets an HIV test. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for the majority of the HIV deaths annually. World Bank Collection/flickr

Two trials signal pivotal point in fight against the AIDS epidemic

Two major clinical trials will be conducted in South Africa in 2016 to test ways of preventing new HIV infections.
Understanding where and how the virus hides on treatment is one of the biggest questions facing scientists working on HIV. ROLEX DELA PENA/EPA/AAP

HIV latency: a high-stakes game of hide and seek

Ebola’s clever trick – to lie dormant inside a cell or to hide in a particular organ – is not unfamiliar. Lots of viruses do it. HIV is the master of such a trick.
The reservoirs of dormant HIV have been the main barrier to a cure. anaxila/Flickr

Cancer drug promises to break down barrier to HIV cure

Researchers have found a promising way of kicking the AIDS virus out of its hiding place in infected cells, potentially removing the main obstacle to curing HIV.
People who have big weekends tend to take more sickies at work. from shutterstock.com

Could a weekend of binge-drinking worsen your cold?

There's no doubt chronic alcohol abuse changes the body's infection-defence system. But here's what the research says on whether a binge-drinking weekend can make people more susceptible to illness.
The more we take antibiotics, the more likely we are to have superbugs down the line. Brandice Schnabel/Flickr

When should you take antibiotics?

Antibiotics can prevent serious harm and stop infections becoming fatal. But they won't kill common cold and flu viruses, and careless overprescribing by doctors can do more harm than good.
Detecting viruses in wild-caught mosquitoes provides intimate detail of disease transmission cycles. University of Washington SPH/Flickr

How a new test is revolutionising what we know about viruses in our midst

We monitor mosquitoes to help predict and control virus outbreaks. And a new technique for collecting mosquito saliva from the field has made the process both more sensitive and inexpensive.
Under the microscope. NIAID

Explainer: is the Ebola virus mutating?

The world has been keeping a very close eye on the Ebola virus for nearly a year now following the extraordinarily large outbreak seen in Western Africa, which has so far killed more than 8,000 people…
Ebola close up. NIAID

Ebola outbreak: where we are now and what happens next

Ebola virus disease was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, and by 2013 had caused about 20 recorded outbreaks across East and Central Africa. These had been restricted to…

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