HIV/AIDS

THE DISEASEPREVALENCEPREVENTION AND TREATMENTLINES OF RESEARCHRESEARCH TEAMPUBLICATIONS

THE DISEASE

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the causal agent of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a human disease characterized by the presence of low levels of CD4 lymphocytes associated with the development of opportunistic infections and some cancers.

There are different genetic variants of HIV. In a first level, there are infections by types HIV-1, the most frequent worldwide, and HIV-2. Also, there are several subtypes and recombinant forms of HIV-1, being subtype B the predominant in economically developed countries and others non-B subtypes and recombinant circulating forms (CRFs) that cause most cases of infection in developing countries.

HIV infection is transmitted sexually (homosexual and heterosexual), parenteral (blood, blood products, injecting drug users) and maternal-infant (during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding), being the sexually the mayority way of infections in a World level.

PREVALENCE

By 2015, It is estimated that 37 million people in the world are infected with HIV (69% in sub-Saharan Africa), although many people ignore it because the infection may be asymptomatic in the early years. That year there were more than one million AIDS deaths and more than two million new cases, of which about 150,000 were children. Half of these children, without a diagnosis and early treatment, will die before the age of two.

PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

The prevention of HIV infection mainly depends on the change in behaviors and, in particular, on avoiding risky sexual behaviors, which also prevents other infections and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

When a person has been infected by HIV, antiretroviral treatment is available to reduce the presence of the virus in the body and thus decrease the progression to AIDS. However, nowadays less tan a half of the world's population, and especially of the inhabitants of developing countries, can access to these treatments. In order to finish with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the OMS has proposed a target of 90-90-90 by 2020, that is to say, 90% of people infected are diagnosed, 90% receiving a correct antiretroviral treatment, and, of this treated population, that 90% get undetectable levels of the virus in blood.

LINES OF INVESTIGATION

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF HIV/AIDS INFECTION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Short line name: HIV / AIDS

BBrief explanation:

In this line, we are working in a cohort of patients from Kinshasa (DRC) in order to deepen the knowledge of HIV/AIDS infection in this population and improve strategies for the prevention and treatment of infection. The research group has the following objectives:

  • Identify at the Monkole Hospital Center (Kinshasa, DRC) the factors associated with the change in sexual behaviors following the HIV test result of the Council and Voluntary HIV Diagnosis (CDV).
  • Evaluate the impact of the HIV Voluntary Counseling and Diagnosis on HIV risk knowledge, attitudes and behaviors months after receiving an HIV + or HIV test.
  • To characterize infectious HIV-1 subtypes and the prevalence of antiretroviral resistance mutations.
  • To evaluate the use of dry blood as an alternative to plasma for the quantification and characterization of HIV-1 in a foreign reference laboratory.

Research Team

  • Gabriel Reina González Gabriel Reina González
    Microbiology Laboratory
    Telephone: 948 255400 Extension: 5103 Email: gabi@unav.es
  • Mirian Fernández Alonso Mirian Fernández Alonso
    Microbiology Laboratory
    Telephone: 948 255400 Extension: 5105 Email: mferalon@unav.es
  • Patricia Sanz Sanz Patricia Sanz Sanz
    Microbiology Laboratory
    Telephone: 948 296500 Extension: 5114 Email: psanzsanz@unav.es
  • Silvia Carlos Chillerón Silvia Carlos Chillerón
    Preventive Medicine and Public Health
    Telephone: 948 425 600 Extension: 6636 Email: scarlos@unav.es

Publications

1. Carlos S, Lopez-del Burgo C, Burgueño E, Martínez-Gonzalez MA, Osorio A, Ndarabu A, Passabosc C, de Irala J. Malecondom use, multiple sexual partners and HIV: a prospective case-control study in Kinshasa (DRC). Aids Care. 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

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2. Carlos S.; Nzakimuena F; Reina G; Lopez-del Burgo C; Burgueño E; Ndarabu A; Osorio A; de Irala J. Factors that lead to changes in sexual behaviours after a negative HIV test: Protocol for a prospective cohort study in Kinshasa. BMC Public Health 2016;16:606. 

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3. Carlos S, Martínez-González MA, Burgueño E, López-del Burgo C, Ruíz-Canela M, Ndarabu A, Tshilolo L, Tshiswaka P, Labarga P, de Irala J. Misconceptions about HIV infection in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo): a case-control study on knowledge, attitudes and practices. SexuallyTransmittedInfections 2015;91(5):334-7. 4.    Osorio, A.,Carlos, S., López-del Burgo, C. On the speculations about the causes of increased condom use in Africa.Letter to the editor. AIDS 2014; 28(5):799-800