There are certain viruses which are currently being researched in hopes they will help us cure diseases. One group of these viruses are the retroviruses, which are currently evil little bastards.
They’re a downer because they include HIV. For that reason, they are largely excluded from all the best virus parties.
These motherfuckers are some of the evilest of all the evil viruses because they actually get into their victim’s DNA and change it. This is some serious shit right here. They take their own genetic code and then splice it right up into your DNA.
If they implant their genes into the host’s love juice factory, the virus will get a free ride into the next generation. Scientists reckon about 5-8% of human DNA is retroviruses that just came along for the ride.
Now, by the time you get born, those viruses probably aren’t hurting you. They’re just chilling out, taking up couch space in your cells, and you will never give a shit.
However, it’s not always a simple case of a roommate that pays no rent. Sometimes the dirty bastards cause AIDS. Sometimes they cause cancer (they’re literally rewriting your DNA like a bad rapper making a mixtape, so of course cancer).
The good news is their behavior might allow humans to use them to combat genetic disorders. Scientists are exploring the idea of using retroviruses to rewrite faulty sections of DNA in humans.
There are a lot of difficulties inherent in using one disease to treat another one, but scientists are pretty damn clever, and I’m sure they’ll work it out.
And when they do, it will mean they’ve tamed the mighty HIV, stuck a bridle and saddle on that bastard, and used it to rodeo the shit out of genetic immunodeficiencies.
In other words, some day HIV may be used to cure autoimmune disorders, not cause them.
For now though, wear condoms and get tested.