HIV myths debunked, Nigerian doctors abroad, other health stories last week

National Hospital
National Hospital, Abuja
About 30 adolescent gets infected with HIV per hour

About 30 adolescents particularly girls within the age range of 15 to 19 get infected with HIV every hour, a report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.

The health agency said while there has been substantial progress in the fight against AIDS in the last two decades, the failure to prevent so many new infections among children and teenagers is slowing this down.

The epidemic’s spread among adolescent girls is being fuelled by early sex, including

with older men, forced sex, powerlessness in negotiating around sex, poverty and lack of access to confidential counselling and testing services.

Adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 account for almost two thirds of the three million under-19 year-olds living with HIV.

HIV Does Not Spread Through Kissing – Scientists

Twenty world leading HIV scientists have debunked some assumptions and myths about HIV infection stressing that there was no possibility of HIV transmission through contact with the saliva of an HIV-positive person, including through kissing, biting or spitting.

The experts, in HIV research, epidemiology and patient care, issued the consensus at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They said the risk of transmission from a single act of unprotected sex was very low.

They added that there is no possibility of HIV transmission during vaginal or anal sex when the HIV-positive partner has an undetectable viral load.


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Among the 20 co-authors of the statement were a Nobel Laureate, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi of the Pasteur Institute, Salim Abdool Karim of Columbia University and Chris Beyrer of John Hopkins University.

Pregnant Women With Smoking Partners

Pregnant women whose partners are smokers may face higher risks of miscarriage, according to a recent Chinese research.

Conducted by the Research Institute of the National Health Commission, the research was based on data of 5.8 million non-smoking pregnant women and their partners, who participated in China’s free pre-pregnancy checkups from 2010 to 2016.

After the follow-up research of pre-pregnancy, early pregnancy, and pregnancy outcomes, researchers found that pregnant women whose partners smoke are 17 per cent more likely to miscarry than those with non-smoking partners.

The risk of miscarriage increases as the amount of paternal smoking increases.

5,000 Nigerian Doctors In South Africa

The Consul General (CG) of Nigeria in South Africa, Godwin Adama, has said there were 5,000 Nigerian Medical practitioners working in various teaching, public and private hospitals in South Africa.


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The Vice Consul, Information and Culture, David Abraham, said this shows that virtually every hospital in South Africa has a sizeable number of Nigerian doctors.

According to him, South Africa is replete with many Nigerian professionals who are contributing to the economic development in both public and private sectors in the country.

Cholera Death Toll Hits 186 In Six Months – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said cholera has claimed the lives of 186 people across the country in the last six months.

According to the health agency, 16,008 cases of cholera were reported from 16 affected states since the beginning of the year.

Although new cases are said to be on the decline, cholera cases are still being reported from eight states including; Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Zamfara, Plateau and Kaduna.

Prince Harry, Elton John launch HIV campaign

Britain’s Prince Harry joined pop star Elton John to launch a campaign to raise HIV awareness among men, warning that “dangerous complacency” about the virus threatened the quest to wipe it out.

The billion-dollar project “MenStar” will target men living with or at risk of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, which has been ravaged by AIDS since the 1980s.

“Around 36.7 million people around the world have HIV, according to 2016 figures cited by the UNs’ HIV and AIDS body UNAIDS. Fewer than half of men living with HIV receive treatment compared with 60 per cent of women, it said.

Diabetes: Switching To Common Drugs Raises Risk

A new research has found that switching diabetic medication to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas could raise the risk of complications for people living with type 2 diabetes.

The study led by Samy Suissa from McGill University Quebec, Canada and published in the journal BMJ was set out to investigate how safe it is for patients with type 2 diabetes to switch from taking metformin, a standard “first-line” anti-diabetic drug to taking sulfonylureas, often prescribed to control blood sugar level when metformin alone fails.

It was deduced from the study that it was safer to continue metformin than switching.

The study found that adding or switching to sulfonylureas was linked with higher risk of a heart attack, death from any causes and severe hypoglycemia.

Side Effects Of Painkillers Worse In Alzheimer’s

A recent study has demonstrated that pain relief drugs produce more pronounced side effects when taken by people with dementia.

Dementia is a growing concern because it cannot be reversed. Understanding the best way to care for the people with advance dementia is very important because most of them live with pain which usually goes unnoticed or poorly managed.

Although paracetamol is generally the first line of pain treatment, opioids are also usually prescribed.

However, researchers from the University of Exeter, King’s College London and University of Bergen, Norway found that taking opioids have side effects such personality changes, sedation and confusion on the patients as compared to those taking placebo


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