In the August 10, 2009 issue of the Advanced Functional Materials journal, a paper was published describing the HIV-blocking properties of a gel that could prevent the transmission of HIV by physically stopping the virus in its tracks (1). Unlike existing microbicides (which were reported on in an earlier issue of the SACEMA Quarterly) (2), Read More
In the June issue of the SACEMA it was reported that here is strong evidence that medical male circumcision reduces the acquisition of HIV by heterosexual men, but that current evidence is lacking for whether it also offers protection for women (1). Recently an article has been published reporting on the results of a trial Read More
Malaria and HIV/AIDS are two of the most important infectious diseases worldwide, and although there is good evidence of a biological interaction between them, research into malaria and HIV continues to be largely separate. Furthermore, despite the fact that malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes are being scaled up, they continue to be planned Read More
In this third issue of the SACEMA Quarterly, the focus is not on HIV/AIDS, but on other infectious diseases. The first article reports on the prevention of sleeping sickness, by catching away the tsetse flies causing the disease, using baits. The second one presents the Global Fund’s approach to combating Malaria: The Affordable Medicines Facility-Malaria (AMFm), which mainly comes down to reducing the prices of malaria treatment by means of subsidy. And the last article discusses the status of tuberculosis in South Africa.
Sleeping sickness severely affects health and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. As there are no prophylactics, and only highly toxic curatives, the safest policy is to attack the tsetse flies (vectors). The cheapest and simplest method of tsetse control is the use of insecticide-treated baits; host animals (cattle) or artificial representations of them (“targets”). Bait performance has been improved greatly in the last 40 years, however to further reduce the costs of targets more research is needed to shed light on some unsolved problems.
Malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world. In sub-Saharan Africa most countries have changed their treatment policies from chloroquine or Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine-based monotherapy to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). However, it is suggested that an expanded access to effective treatment is also needed in order to “gain ground” against malaria. The Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) from the Global Fund aims to reduce the price of ACTs through an innovative approach of buyer co-payment.
Since 1990 the pre-eminent factor contributing to the current massive TB epidemic in South Africa is HIV infection. But the risk of TB in HIV-infected adults and children can be reduced by taking HAART. The WHO Stop TB Department now proposes the 3I’s strategy (Intensified Case Finding, Isoniazid preventive treatment, and TB Infection Control) to halt the rise of the TB epidemic. However, the 3I’s strategy has some pitfalls.