In a modest public health clinic behind a gas station here in South Africa’s rural Kwa Zulu/Natal Province, a team of Norwegian infectious disease specialists think they may have found a new explanation. But even skeptics say the explanation is biologically plausible. But mention this, and the headlights just go dim.”The idea is slowly gaining ground. Kjetland makes visits to high schools where she has government permission to work because their communities have the highest rates of schistosomiasis.
Once inside, the worms mate, with the female living in a cleft in the male’s body “like a hot dog in a bun,” Dr. Most nest in the urinary tract — bloody urine is the classic symptom — but a portion end up in the vagina, creating “sandy patches” of damaged tissue and calcified eggs. One is Daniel Halperin, an epidemiologist now at the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Puerto Rico. He argues that tropical West Africa, where schisto is common, has little H. V., while countries with little schisto, like arid Botswana and mountainous Swaziland, have sky-high H. Hotez, the Baylor dean, argues that it is worth it.
He knows how it feels to be doubted: In the 1990s, he was the chief proponent of the theory that circumcision protected men against H. Seventy million African children could be dewormed twice a year for 10 years at a cost of $112 million, he said in an essay titled “Africa’s 32 Cents Solution for H. V./AIDS” (32 cents being the cost of two generic deworming pills twice a year).
AIDS is believed to have come from a family of Chimpanzees. Many people did not believe that there was any disease such as AIDS.
With time and as more cases started being reported, it was taken as just a disease. During this period, there were many men in the urban centers in Africa than women.
They were however not enough, and those present had to serve multiple male partners.
This increased the demand for commercial sex workers. Lack of circumcision also resulted in the prevalence in the spread.OTIMATI, South Africa — While around the world a vast majority of AIDS victims are men, Africa has long been the glaring exception: Nearly 60 percent are women. Also, the foreign bodies in the sores — the worms and eggs — attract CD4 cells, the immune system’s sentinels, and those are the very cells that H. But proponents of the theory say that two decades ago, many experts were just as skeptical of the idea that circumcision protected men against H. Schistosomiasis “is arguably the most important cofactor in Africa’s AIDS epidemic,” said Dr. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.And while there are many theories, no one has been able to prove one. Kjetland, who leads the Otimati team, says that it is more common than syphilis or herpes, which can also open the way for H. “And it’s a huge women’s health issue: Everyone has heard of genital mutilation and obstetric fistulas. don’t have schisto, and vice versa.”From her small clinic just off the highway here, Dr. The worms can be killed by a drug that costs as little as 8 cents a pill. Kjetland’s team is trying to determine whether that will heal the sores in young women.(To her frustration, although the drug is sold by generic makers for as little as eight cents a pill, South African patent laws permit only the Bayer version, which costs .)Then she meets with groups of girls ages 16 and up to ask the sexually active ones to come to Otimati for gynecological exams and blood tests.Africa continent has undergone numerous challenges since the time of colonial era.Many countries in the continent have undergone severe economic problems.Though trained in Norway, she has spent most of her life in Africa, growing up in Tanzania as the eldest of a missionary couple’s six children, attending prep school in South Africa, and, after college and medical school in Norway, doing graduate work in Malawi and Zimbabwe. No ethics board would approve placebos under those conditions. Kjetland reached for the mounted magnifying scope she uses to examine girls.“They’re not looking in the right places,” she said.An estimated 200 million Africans have had schistosomiasis. A gold standard study to prove the connection would be both impractical and unethical: Researchers would have to divide hundreds of infant girls into two groups, give half deworming drugs and half placebos, wait until they were perhaps 20 years old, and see how many had H. For years, theories have abounded as to why African women become infected with H. V.: for example, that they are more likely to have overlapping sexual partners — not always by choice — while women elsewhere have boyfriends or husbands in series. Salim Abdool Karim, a renowned South African AIDS researcher who admires Dr. His team follows more than 1,000 women in an area only 40 miles from Otimati with equally high H. Most gynecologists, she explained, are trained to look for cancer, which usually starts near the center of the cervix, while sandy patches are tucked away in crevices that can be seen only by swinging the scope to extreme angles.The church and other religious leaders did not at first approve the use of condoms.Despite the threat, many governments did not openly accept that they were facing the threat of AIDS.