Sperm Makes HIV Hostile

Jan 29, 2008
German researchers found that sperm contains protein that contributes to HIV being more dangerous than if it was alone.

Initially, researchers in Germany intended to find if semen had the potential to inhibit HIV. Surprisingly, they discovered that prostatic acidic phosphatase found in semen that forms amyloid fibrilis is actually helping the virus to penetrate cells, making it more powerful.

Frank Kirchhoff, a virologist at the University of Ulm Clinic in Germany that semen had enhancing effect on the virus and they were surprised at its strength.

During the experiment scientists injected HIV virus alone and SEVI-treated HIV into the tails of rats and found that HIV with the semen component was five times more effective in transmitting the virus. It was concluded that semen makes HIV 100,000 more virulent in comparison to the virus alone.

Nadia Roan and Warner Greene, experts at the University of California, San Francisco's Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, said that if semen increases the chances of HIV spread by several orders of magnitude, the next step should be to eliminate this factor.

HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, causes around causing 25 million deaths, being one of the most destructive disease in the history. HIV is transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood route and mother to child.