Friday, September 5, 2008

HIV and Malaria

Coinfection, a term we introduced last week, that describes the simultaneous infection with two or more diseases is big news these days. In Africa the big coinfections are HIV and Tuberculosis, which we briefly mentioned, and HIV and Malaria.

The interaction between AIDS and Malaria is complex and only just being unraveled. One conclusion though is that coinfection has helped fuel the spread of both diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. (eg this 2006 paper and this 2007 paper).

A student, Randa, sent me this great link to a symposium on HIV and Malaria held at Caltech this year. There are videos of all the talks and the split screen with presenter and slides makes the talks very watchable. You can see:

David Baltimore, Ph.D., Nobel prize-winning discoverer of the molecule that HIV uses to copy itself into our DNA, discusses the origins of HIV, the failure to find a cure, and his own approach toward treatment.

Kimberly Shriner, M.D. , leader of the Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania project, discusses the difficulties and rewards of ministering to HIV positive patients in Africa.

Joel Breman, M.D., D.T.P.H., Senior Scientific Advisor at the Fogarty International Center of the NIH, discusses the battle against Malaria

Bruce Hay, Ph.D., Caltech Associate Professor of Biology, explains a new way to spread genetically-engineered malaria-resistance throughout the African mosquito population.

Martha Sedegah, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at the NMRC's Malaria program, discusses two promising new malaria vaccines.

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