HIV strains mutating in Saskatchewan
Strains of the HIV virus have mutated in Saskatchewan, placing individuals who contract HIV in the province in danger of quickly progressing to life-threatening, AIDS-defining illnesses if they are not taking HIV antiretroviral therapy.
HIV incidence rates in Saskatchewan are among the highest in North America, with 2016 rates in some regions more than tenfold higher than the Canadian national average. And Saskatchewan physicians have been reporting an unusually rapid progression from HIV to AIDS among those who have not sought treatment. AIDS is the last and most severe phase of HIV infection.
These reports sparked the first molecular epidemiological study of HIV in Saskatchewan, with findings presented today at the AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.