According to the BBC News account, a European institute has compared HIV-1 samples form 1986-89 with those from 2002-03.
They found the newer samples appeared not to multiply as well and were more sensitive to drugs-while some other studies argue they are becoming more resistant.
They were only able to compare 12 samples from each time period, so the sampling could have a probability of error.
The scientists, putting a positive spin on their research, said that the HIV virus that causes AIDS may be causing death at a slower rate.
The study concludes that as HIV passes from one person to another, it has already toned down some of its most pathogenic effects in respone ot its host's immune system.
So the study suggests, that over several generations, HIV could become less harmful to human hosts. Let's hope that this comes to pass. But in the meantime, playing safe is the only certain prevention from being exposed to HIV.
Dr. Marco Vitoria, an HIV expert at the World Health Organization, said that other diseases, such as smallpox, TB and syphillis, had shown the same tendency to weaken over time.
However Dr. Vitoria stressed that the latest findings should lull people into a false sense of security.
The study does add to the body of evidence indicating that HIV is howing no signs of dying out in the near future. Grim reality.