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Combined Use of Antiretrovirals, Antibiotic, ITNs Could Reduce Malaria Incidence Among HIV-Positive People by 95%, Study Says

April 18, 2006

The combined use of antiretroviral drugs, the antibiotic cotrimoxazole and insecticide-treated nets could reduce the incidence of malaria among HIV-positive people by up to 95%, according to a study published in the April 15 issue of the journal Lancet, Reuters reports. HIV-positive people are more susceptible to opportunistic diseases such as malaria, which also can be more severe in people living with HIV. Jonathan Mermin of the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda, and colleagues looked at how individual and combined treatments for malaria affected about 1,000 HIV-positive people in Uganda. The researchers found that cotrimoxazole -- an antibiotic widely used among HIV-positive people worldwide -- reduced malaria incidence among the study participants by 76%. Cotrimoxazole taken with antiretroviral drugs reduced incidence by 92%, and the combination of the two drugs cut incidence by up to 95% when patients also used ITNs, the study finds. The researchers said the antiretrovirals do not have any effect on the malaria parasite but strengthened the participants' immune systems. "Although these interventions work separately, the prime message is that together they are associated with [up to] a 95% reduction in malaria," Mermin said, adding, "Malaria then becomes a rare event among this population whereas before the interventions it was quite common" (Reaney, Reuters, 4/14).

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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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