HIV's Neglected Cousin Hits Indigenous Communities in Australia Hardest

Not enough is being done to test for and treat HTLV-1, warn doctors alarmed by infection rates among adults exceeding 40% in some remote parts of central Australia.

Indigenous communities are being hit the hardest by the disease, which can cause leukemia and lymphoma. It’s been called a “cousin” of HIV, which stole the spotlight once it was discovered a few years later. 

“Now, we have to make up for what we didn't do before … We have to get attention to HTLV-1 quick,” said Robert Gallo, director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology.


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