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Scientists detail urgent research agenda to address chronic disease toll
Date:8/14/2014

Health care systems that keep HIV patients from dying early in low- and middle-income nations need urgently to be repurposed to treat the chronic diseases that many of these patients now have, experts say.

According to recommendations resulting from a multidisciplinary conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, scientists and physicians in low- and middle-income countries should build on existing HIV research to study and treat chronic conditions. Patients once condemned to death by AIDS now suffer from noncommunicable diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, heart and lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, mental illness and gastrointestinal disorders. These conditions can be related to the infection itself, the drugs used to treat it, or the simple process of aging.

Increasing rates of chronic diseases among persons with HIV, if unaddressed may set back or even reverse the impressive health gains achieved over the last decade, according to the authors of a new series of articles. Additionally, clinics in many rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America are increasingly under strain as they attempt to provide services beyond acute care to treat long-term HIV. To address these issues, global health experts recommend increasing research capacity with respect to HIV-noncommunicable disease burdens in developing countries.

An international group of researchers detailed the problem in a special issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. In eight articles and two commentaries, the scientists lay out a research agenda to determine the scope of the noncommunicable disease problems and study the most efficient and cost-effective ways to tackle them. Estimates indicate that chronic illnesses have already overtaken infectious diseases as the main killers in the developing world, the authors report. These conditions can be simultaneous chronic diseases associated with HIV-related illness, whe
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Contact: Jeff Gray
Jeffrey.Gray@nih.gov
301-496-2075
NIH/Fogarty International Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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