January 24, 2005
Reaction and Recommendations
In an accompanying Lancet opinion piece, James Whitworth of the London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kirsten Hewitt of the Health Protection Agency Centre For Infections write that "better integration of health services" for HIV and malaria is "crucial" if even a small increase in the likelihood of HIV transmission occurs when a person contracts malaria, according to SciDev.Net/AllAfrica.com. Whitworth and Hewitt write that viral loads reported in the study might equate to about a 50% increase in the likelihood of HIV transmission, according to SciDev.Net. However, Neil French of the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust laboratories said discovering the "exact interaction" between HIV and malaria would be difficult because of ethical concerns given that potential study participants would be required to abstain from treatment for both diseases, according to SciDev.Net. French recommended that disease control programs "come together to provide a comprehensive package of care," including providing bed nets to HIV-positive people to reduce the chance of contracting malaria, SciDev.Net reports (Shetty, SciDev.Net, 1/20).
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