Correlation Between HIV Treatment and Recurrent Malaria
According to the NIH, children with HIV who are receiving treatment are 40 percent less likely to suffer from recurring malaria. The study was done in Uganda using children age six and under. Some were just infants (over 170 of them, in fact). The study group was compared to a group of children receiving a different treatment.
The treatment that stopped malaria from recurring was a protease blocker. It slows the spread of HIV by blocking that particular enzyme. While the treatment seemed to make it less likely for malaria to reoccur, it did not prevent the children from getting the disease the first time.
The children were also receiving drugs to try and prevent them from getting malaria. When blood tests were done on the children, it was noticed that the ones receiving the protease treatment had more of the anti malaria medicine in their system.
This is not the first study that has been done on this particular HIV treatment. Previous research was conducted to prove the effectiveness of the drug combination in slowing the progress of HIV. However, it is not the first drug promoted by the WHO for HIV treatment in poor nations. Why not? For one thing, the treatment needs to be refrigerated. Because of this, medical facilities in many poor nations cannot afford the resources to keep a supply on hand. It also does not taste very good, which makes it more difficult to get children to take it.
Other variables in the study included the children being given a mosquito net to keep them from being infected in their sleep. These nets had mosquito repellent on them. All the children also received a regular supply of vitamins. Clean water was provided, so that water quality would not affect the outcome of the study.
Even with the best efforts of the individuals conducting the study, it was still noted that about two fifths of the children contracted malaria within half a year. The discrepancies, however, began to be noticed in those who survived the first round. Receiving the standard HIV treatment had the same two fifths chance of getting the disease again in the next four weeks. Of the children taking protease inhibitors, only 14 percent contracted the disease again. After two months, there was still a stark contrast in recurrent cases.