Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study of HIV increase in Pakistan could benefit other research

Date:
August 24, 2011
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
Rates of HIV have increased in Pakistan's general population, as the virus has spread beyond at-risk groups to women and their children, according to a new study.

Rates of HIV have increased in Pakistan's general population, as the virus has spread beyond at-risk groups to women and their children, according to an international team of researchers, including a University of Florida scientist.

The researchers raise concern that the transmission across subgroups into Pakistan's general population may serve as indication that the virus may be spreading into populations within neighboring Afghanistan. The team's epidemiological findings were published in July in the journal PLoS One.

The technique used to understand the forces that drive the HIV epidemic in Pakistan could also help health care professionals understand and intervene in other deadly disease outbreaks wherever they occur, researchers say.

"Are the strains in Pakistan and Afghanistan of two different epidemic origins, or are they the same? It's an important question," said paper author Marco Salemi, a UF College of Medicine professor and a member of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute and the UF Genetics Institute. "Genetic evidence can be used to test how different populations are intersecting. As you can imagine, behavioral data is difficult to get in some countries and this is why molecular tools are important."

Salemi analyzed DNA sequences of blood samples from three HIV-positive groups: intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and women who have become infected by their bisexual spouses. By examining the evolutionary makeup of HIV strains, scientists say one of the strongest factors of the disease's spread is through men who sleep with male intravenous drug users.

The study was led by scientists at Aga Khan University and Dow University of Health Sciences, both in Karachi, Pakistan's capital, and the team is part of a larger consortium of researchers worldwide who have published in the last year, further documenting the spread of HIV in predominantly Muslim countries. The scientists say they will continue the epidemiological work in Afghanistan.

Deriving information from molecular studies is also essential to complement information that may not necessarily be accurate, or truthful, from in-person interviews.

"These questions are very sensitive and most of the behaviors we deal with, even in countries outside the Middle East, are illegal behaviors," said Willi McFarland, director of the HIV Epidemiology Section at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

McFarland is an author of a PLoS One paper that also appeared this summer. That research was led by scientists from the Qatar branch of Weill Cornell Medical College who examined smaller studies from the Middle East and North Africa of men who hid their sexuality out of fear of prosecution.

Despite certain social and legal limitations that may make conducting similar studies difficult in some parts of the world, McFarland says the trust and confidentiality established between physicians and their patients proved crucial in providing the demographic information needed to conduct international studies such as these.

"Despite the legal consequences, the doctor patient-relationship does seem to be respected," McFarland said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. The original article was written by Claudia Adrien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Muhammad R. Khanani, Mehreen Somani, Sadiq S. Rehmani, Nazle M. C. Veras, Marco Salemi, Syed H. Ali. The Spread of HIV in Pakistan: Bridging of the Epidemic between Populations. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (7): e22449 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022449

Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Study of HIV increase in Pakistan could benefit other research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142852.htm>.
University of Florida. (2011, August 24). Study of HIV increase in Pakistan could benefit other research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142852.htm
University of Florida. "Study of HIV increase in Pakistan could benefit other research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824142852.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins