HIV is making coronavirus variants more likely in South Africa

Hanno Labuschagne

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HIV is making coronavirus variants more likely in South Africa

The world’s biggest number of HIV cases is complicating South Africa’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, raising the risk of more mutated versions emerging and spreading across the globe.

Many of the country’s 8.2 million HIV-infected people are immuno-compromised and scientists say they can harbor the coronavirus for longer, allowing it to mutate as it reproduces. A study of an HIV positive 36-year-old woman showed that Covid-19 stayed in her body for 216 days and mutated rapidly.

“There is good evidence that prolonged infection in immune-compromised individuals is one of the mechanisms for the emergence of SARS Covid-2 variants,” Tulio de Oliveira, a bioinformatics professor who runs gene-sequencing institutions at two South African universities, said at an Aug. 30 immunology conference.

[Bloomberg]
 

Sapphiron

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TL;DR

We have had 3 waves already, and minimal evidence of extra new mutations. A rambling scare story article, based on a single source, and lots of anecdotal but irrelevant facts.

Not sure if they are irrelevant, but certainly speculative.

A large population of immuno-compromised people is likely to have long term implications in future years. Much like the effect HIV had on the development of more dangerous variants of TB.
 

JohnMao

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Sounds bleak, but how is Covid not killing off more AIDS sufferers here?
 

Nanfeishen

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Sounds bleak, but how is Covid not killing off more AIDS sufferers here?
1 possibility

The investigators suggest that the lower rates of COVID-19 among people taking antiretrovirals – especially TDF – compared to the general population could be because nucleoside/nucleotide drugs disrupt the virus’s ability to infect human cells. As regards the improved outcomes seen in TDF-treated individuals relative to those taking other antiretrovirals, Dr del Amo and colleagues note that the drug has immuno-modulatory properties, dampening the production of inflammatory cytokines implicated in serious COVID-19 disease.
 

superlekkerza

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HIV is making coronavirus variants more likely in South Africa

The world’s biggest number of HIV cases is complicating South Africa’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, raising the risk of more mutated versions emerging and spreading across the globe.

Many of the country’s 8.2 million HIV-infected people are immuno-compromised and scientists say they can harbor the coronavirus for longer, allowing it to mutate as it reproduces. A study of an HIV positive 36-year-old woman showed that Covid-19 stayed in her body for 216 days and mutated rapidly.

“There is good evidence that prolonged infection in immune-compromised individuals is one of the mechanisms for the emergence of SARS Covid-2 variants,” Tulio de Oliveira, a bioinformatics professor who runs gene-sequencing institutions at two South African universities, said at an Aug. 30 immunology conference.

[Bloomberg]

Yes, more anti SA articles please.
 

Geoff.D

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TL;DR

We have had 3 waves already, and minimal evidence of extra new mutations. A rambling scare story article, based on a single source, and lots of anecdotal but irrelevant facts.
Pretty much summarises what the prof has been saying for months. He has consistently pointed out that in SA the immunocompromised members of the population is where they think the most mutations are arising. The HIV infected persons form the bigger group.
The evidence has been building up over many months.
I agree the article is terrible however.
 

SeRpEnT

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LMAO @ internet keyboard experts commenting and criticizing the medical experts..
Ai ai ai.

This guy (Prof de Oliveira) is an absolute leader in his field. He lead the way in identifying new variants and tracing the changes of the virus. First world countries like the States had to rush to try and catch up.
But ja ne... some IT expert from Brakpan will know better on an IT forum.... LOL. Love it.
 

Geoff.D

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Thats the big question... the people who are dying are not the ones with HIV.
Its possible that ARV's help.
A few weeks ago the prof answered that question also. He explained how the drugs taken by HIV sufferers are preventing severe symptoms and possibly why fewer HIV infected are dying of Covid.
 
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Geoff.D

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LMAO @ internet keyboard experts commenting and criticizing the medical experts..
Ai ai ai.

This guy (Prof de Oliveira) is an absolute leader in his field. He lead the way in identifying new variants and tracing the changes of the virus. First world countries like the States had to rush to try and catch up.
But ja ne... some IT expert from Brakpan will know better on an IT forum.... LOL. Love it.
Agree. Of all the experts in SA, he has been very good at explaining things when he gives his some times weekly feedback sessions.
 

Nerfherder

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A few weeks ago the prof answered that question also. He explained how the drugs taken by HIV sufferers are preventing severe symptoms and possibly why fewer HIV infected are dying of Covid.
Which would explain why the rest of Africa has not been as severely affected.
 
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