As the Coronavirus Plague Collides With HIV/AIDS, the Plague-Pandemic May Be Taking an Ominous Turn

As the world’s less affluent countries scramble for COVID-19 vaccine and contend with deadly surges of the disease, researchers in South Africa have just documented an ominous development: the collision of the pandemic with HIV/AIDS.

Geneticists and infectious disease specialists there have uncovered potentially dangerous coronavirus mutations in a 36-year-old woman with uncontrolled HIV who was unable to shake the SARS-CoV-2 virus for close to eight months. The driving force behind the patient’s rapid accumulation of genetic changes is probably her impaired immune response due to her unsuccessfully treated HIV, the researchers said.

The case highlights a difficult truth: that affluent nations racing to vaccinate their own populations will remain vulnerable as long as the coronavirus is spreading and mutating in low- and middle-income countries, where lack of vaccine has kept COVID-19 immunization rates low. That’s especially true in countries like South Africa, where HIV infections are common but often undetected.

“This underscores the advantage that this virus has until we can put the brakes on it, and we have to put the brakes on it globally,” said Dr. Bruce Walker, founding director of the Ragon Institute, an immunology research center in Boston.

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Source: Yahoo