HIV: The Workhorse

Every American has heard of HIV, unless they are juveniles or perhaps suffering from some mental incapacity.  There are two species of HIV:  HIV-1 and HIV-2, which is primarily confined to West Africa.  HIV-2 is believed to have originated in in the forests of Senegal and migrated eastward to Ghana.  HIV-2 infections are highest in the U.S. in Atlanta and New York City, with occurrences around Miami.  HIV-1 is the dominant species and is dramatically more virulent than HIV-2.

HIV is a member of the genus Lentivirus.  It enters target cells via a glycoprotein coupling or interaction (my words) releases viral RNA and reverse transcriptase enzymes into the target cell creating DNA, and subsequently imported into the cell nucleus and integrated into the target DNA.  The target cell becomes the ‘factory’ for more of the virus.  Ultimately the targeted cell dies.  In the case of HIV, the targeted cells are human immune cell, with other cell types playing key roles in the overall viral strategy.

The CCR5 deletion in individuals where both parents carry the deletion protects from most HIV strains.  I will not detail the entire story here as you can find articles on the mechanics involved in the CCR5 deletion and mutations in HIV strains that work around it, but my point is that there are liberal venomous gay men out there who will call you all kinds of foul things if you are known to possess the CCR5 deletion.  How do I know?  I possess the CCR5 deletion and have experienced the venom on  (The owners could care less about deleting this venom, but you discuss building a Colt Model 1911 factory and they delete your post.)  Vipers all. 

The $50 question for all the globe is whether HIV is being weaponized.  Political correctness blocks many Liberals in research from asking — and answering — key questions along this line of thought.  Their assumption is that the world is one giant blob of equally designed biological mass.  Ignorance is truly bliss.

However …… The Lentiviruses themselves are remarkable participants as molecular tools in the molecular mechanics of  genetic engineering for good or bad.  HIV-1 and HIV-2 are engineers.  Even after decades of battling them, we can only sustain life after HIV infection on average up to 22 years.  The cost and debilitating effects of HIV are significant.

[The assumed reality on a site such as is that 50% of the members are HIV positive even if they say “no” when asked to expose whether they are infected or not.  Many almost brag of it.  As the lack of inhibition and self-control ascends in the individual, the rate of HIV infection also ascends.]

The progeny of the Lentiviruses, perhaps a new engineered genus, are workhorses.  I see this “workhorse role” as a delivery system that is extremely robust.  It is a defensive robustness.  Designed to cure illnesses it would be profound in its’ ability.  Designed to prune genetic trees, its’ action would be profound. 

In conjunction with other genetic techniques a vast repertoire of possibility opens.  The door is further opened to areas spanning from germ line engineering to reparative engineering and disease elimination.  All possible when one is enabled with knowledge and a damn good toolbox.


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