Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease—the immune system mistakenly attacks its own body, causing red, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. But there may be a hidden upside. People with psoriasis are more likely to have gene variants that protect them against the effects of HIV-1.
Researchers had noticed that some psoriasis patients had the same gene variants as people known as "HIV-1 controllers." Such people have HIV-1, but they naturally maintain low levels of the virus and generally do not develop any obvious symptoms of AIDS.