Thursday October 18, 2018

About 2.5 Million People Infected with HIV Each Year: Study

During the past decade, the rate of new infections has "stayed relatively constant" since its peak in 1997 of 3.3 million new infections per year

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An early clinical trial shows that passive immunization with an HIV-1 neutralizing antibody can help lower the amount of virus in the blood of an HIV-1-infected subject. Image source: Science Translated Medicine
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    • About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV every year, according to a recent analysis of a global AIDS study
    • According to the GBD 2015 study, 75 percent of the new HIV infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, while south Asia accounted for 8.5 percent and south-east Asia for 4.7 percent
    • Between 2005 and 2015 the use of antiretrovirals has increased from 6.4 percent to 38.6 percent for men and from 3.3 percent to 42.4 percent for women

About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV every year, according to a recent analysis of a global AIDS study.

During the past decade, the rate of new infections has “stayed relatively constant” since its peak in 1997 of 3.3 million new infections per year.  While the rate of annual death from HIV/AIDS has been in a steady decline from a peak of 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.2 million in 2015.

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“Although scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and measures to prevent mother-to-child transmission have had a huge impact on saving lives, our new findings present a worrying picture of slow progress in reducing new HIV infections over the past 10 years,” said lead author Haidong Wang.

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The report, which analyses findings of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study, was published in the Lancet HIV Journal to coincide with the launch of the International AIDS meeting in Durban, South Africa.

According to the GBD 2015 study, 75 percent of the new HIV infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, while south Asia accounted for 8.5 percent and south-east Asia for 4.7 percent.

Hai Dong Wang Image Source: globalhealth.washington.edu
Hai Dong Wang. Image Source: globalhealth.washington.edu

It says that in southern Africa, more than one percent of the populations of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland were becoming infected with HIV. In Europe, Russia and Ukraine had the highest rates, while Cambodia had the highest rates in Asia.

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Between 2005 and 2015 the use of antiretrovirals has increased from 6.4 percent to 38.6 percent for men and from 3.3 percent to 42.4 percent for women.

Despite those increases, the study says most countries fall short of the UNAIDS target calling for countries to ensure that 81 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are receiving ART by 2020.  Although according to report, no country has met that goal, Sweden, the United States, Netherlands and Argentina are all close at about 70 percent

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Individual Types of HPV Linked to HIV Infection

Previous study with female sex workers showed that the HPV vaccine still provided protection to high-risk groups

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

Scientists have for the first time identified 37 individual types of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are specifically linked to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

The findings showed that a person with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV are more likely to test positive for HIV.

“Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection,” said lead author Brandon Brown, Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

“Some HPV types are more linked to cancer and others to warts. This further illustrates the potential utility of HPV vaccine for men who have sex with men and trans women, not only for HPV prevention but also possibly for HIV prevention,” Brown added.

Brown explained that previous research has shown that HPV, in general, was linked to HIV infection, but his research team looked at infection with 37 HPV types and found that individual types are linked, “which is more specific than saying HPV is linked”.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, identified HPV types such as HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 52, 58, linked to HIV.

For the study, the team investigated nearly 600 men who have sex with men, or MSM, and transgender women in Lima, Peru.

HIV
School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Brown and his colleagues started with two groups, one with genital warts and one without, and followed participants over two years to see who contracted HIV.

Of the 571 participants who completed at least two study visits, 73 acquired HIV in two years — a 6 per cent HIV incidence rate.

Previous study with female sex workers showed that the HPV vaccine still provided protection to high-risk groups.

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Regarding prevention and treatment, Brown recommends the HPV vaccine, widely provided to everyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation before sexual debut, and for genital wart treatment.

“Even if the vaccine is not provided before sexual debut, there can be strong benefit if given at any time to prevent HPV-associated disease and also HIV,” he said.

“We know that HPV is the most common STI, and we know that HPV vaccine works to prevent chronic HPV infection. What we need now is to implement the vaccine in a better way. The availability in many other developing countries is low at best and absent at worst.” (IANS)

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