South Africa has officially entered the fourth wave, which is moving fast “Never seen” According to officials, HIV-positive patients are canceling their next consultation again, as they have done on every wave since the start of the Kovid-19 pandemic. “In the clinics where we work, the number of people diagnosed with HIV has halved. The number of patients receiving treatment has also decreased and the number of those who do not come for consultation is increasing., Explained Dr. Moyahabo Mabitsi, Executive Director of Anova, a South African organization that supports the government in the testing and treatment of HIV in more than 500 clinics.
With nearly eight million people living with HIV, South Africa is the main focus of the world’s HIV epidemic. Nearly five million of them have been effectively monitored and have undetectable viral load, with at least two million not being treated and fear that this number could be underestimated as the number of screening tests has dropped by almost half. As a result of the epidemic, more than a third of patients initiating antiretroviral therapy between 2019 and 2020 fell.
In a column published on December 2 in the journal Nature, Four South African scientists, including two members of the team behind the discovery of the Omicron and beta variants, have questioned the international community on the risk that this break in the pandemic could lead to pandemic evolution. With HIV: “Failure to combat the pandemic in emergencies in countries with high levels of advanced HIV-infected and under-treated individuals could lead to the emergence of variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, or to produce less effective vaccines.”
Hypothesis of chronic infection in immunocompromised
Carefully balanced statement to communicate on one of the most sensitive hypotheses on the sudden emergence of highly mutated variants. Chronic infection with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus may be involved in immunocompromised individuals due to cancer chemotherapy treatment and in the emergence of HIV infection alpha variant, found in the United Kingdom in November 2020, found in South Africa. In October 2020, the gamma variant was discovered in Manaus, Brazil, in January 2021 and now, the Omicron variant.
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