Did the Romans destroy Europe's HIV resistance?
By Matt Walker THE hand of history has a very long reach. It appears that the Roman Empire left a legacy that may still affect modern Europe – those living within its conquered lands are more susceptible to HIV. It could explain why a gene that confers resistance to HIV varies in frequency across the continent. The gene in question codes for a protein receptor called CCR5. The HIV virus binds to this receptor before entering cells. One gene variant, called CCR5-Delta32, has 32 DNA base pairs missing and produces a receptor that HIV cannot bind to,