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article imagePsoriasis sufferers may be protected from HIV-1

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By Sean Fraser     Mar 6, 2012 in Health
For those who suffer from the irritating, itchy skin disease they may actually have the genetic variants required to be protected from the effects of HIV.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which causes the body's immune system to mistake healthy skin cells for intruding bodies, resulting in patchy, red, itchy skin. It speeds up the skin cell growth rate, which is usually about once a month, resulting in dead skin cells collecting on the surface.
A new study, reported by Scientific American, shows that people who suffer from psoriasis possess the same gene variants as people who are "HIV-1 controllers." HIV controllers are those who can have HIV, but maintain such low levels of the virus that they never develop AIDS.
The study's results suggest that psoriasis is linked to the antiviral gene variants that protect us from disease and could reveal how and why autoimmune disorders and diseases develop and suggest possible new treatments for them and HIV.
The full study can be read on PLoSGenetics.org.
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