While there is still no known cure, HIV/AIDS is an extremely serious epidemic affecting the lives of humans all around the world. Fortunately, with improved methods of medical treatment, most patients diagnosed with HIV can prevent the disease from developing into AIDS, ultimately saving them from death. However, these treatments are only readily available to those in developed countries, particularly those who can afford the medical expenses. Places where HIV and AIDS are more serious, such as Africa, have little to no access to these treatments, resulting in a high death rate.
However, while there is no cure yet for the disease, there is a small chance that someone “infected” with the disease could be completely immune, thanks to a beneficial mutation. Cysteine-cysteine chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is a receptor molecule, located in the membranes of white blood cells (WBCs) and nerve cells. CCR5 delta 32, the beneficial mutation, greatly affects the normal functioning of the CCR5, as it blocks the entry of HIV by slowing down the disease progression.
Like most mutations, this “HIV immunity” is a rare find in human beings. However, further studying the CCR5 molecule as well as the CCR5 mutation could offer great insight in the medical world, and perhaps even one day lead to the discovery of a cure.
“Beneficial Mutation” by Buzzle Staff http://www.buzzle.com/articles/beneficial-mutation.html