HIV spread peaks before violent conflict breaks out

New York, Nov 13 (IANS) The rate of new HIV infections rises significantly in the five years leading up to violent conflict in a country, says a new study.

The researchers looked into the relationship between bloodshed and HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa.

“It implies that there is something going on in social, political, and health care environments in those years that are conducive to HIV spread,” said study lead author Brady Bennett from Brown University in Rhode Island, US.

The findings suggest that waiting to intervene until conflict is already underway may mean missing a major opportunity to prevent new infections.

The new study tracked HIV incidence statistics in 36 sub-Saharan countries from 1990 to 2012 and correlated them with periods of conflict and peace in each country.

Compared to times of peace, the analysis showed, HIV incidence increased by 2.1 infections per 1,000 people a year in the five years before a conflict where at least 25 people died as a result of fighting.

The researchers also found that during conflict the incidence rate declined by 0.07 infections per 1,000 people, compared to times of peace.

Researchers found that as conflicts became more bloody, HIV incidence tended to drift down a bit more.

Each country had a different HIV trajectory through war and peace (some had no conflict at all), but countries such as Burundi, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Uganda all endured their highest HIV incidence rates in periods before conflict and lower rates during conflict.

Bennett said the finding that HIV incidence might decline during intense conflict is likely not because conflict somehow makes anything better.

Instead, he said, fighting likely undermines accurate data collection, leaving many new infections undetected.

The study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here