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HIV causes AIDS more slowly over time, study shows

HIV's ability to cause AIDS is weakening over time, a new study by University of Oxford researchers shows. After looking at 2,000 women in Africa, the report concludes HIV is less virulent now because it evolves quickly, and more patients are naturally immune. Scientists said this factor will eventually contribute to the end of AIDS, Reuters reports.

For the first time since HIV began spreading 30 years ago, the annual number of new HIV infections is lower than the number of new HIV positive patients receiving treatment. Of course, there's still a long way to go.

"Overall we are bringing down the ability of HIV to cause AIDS so quickly," Philip Goulder, the Oxford professor who led the study, told Reuters. "But it would be overstating it to say HIV has lost its potency – it's still a virus you wouldn't want to have."