Scientists have discovered a highly aggressive new strain of HIV in Cuba that develops into full-blown AIDS three times faster than more common strains of the virus.

The finding could have serious public health implications for efforts to contain and reduce the incidence of HIV worldwide.

Researchers at a Belgian University say the CRF-19 strain of the virus, can progress to full blown AIDS within two to three years of exposure.

Typically, HIV takes approximately 10 years to develop into AIDS.