Aids and Sars don't mix

Estimated worldwide HIV infections: 51 725 994 at 4.47pm on Wednesday April 23 2003.

French biologist Luc Montagnier, one of the researchers who discovered the HI virus, voiced concern this week that the combination of Aids and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) will lead to terrible loss of lives.

Montagnier says the Sars virus kills about 4% to 5% of those infected but if the immune system is depressed by Aids, the toll will be much higher. The United Nations Programme on Aids estimates that by the end of last year up to 1,5-million people in China were infected with HIV.

Health officials are concerned that Sars might wipe out so-called ‘Aids villages” in China that came into being when citizens sold blood to unsanitary collection stations, from the mid 1980s.

‘The death rate from Sars now is 4%, but if it gets to Aids villages it could be at least 30% to 40%,” said Hu Jia, executive director of Aizhixing Institute of Health Education, an Aids prevention group in Beijing.

Source: www.aegis.org and Sapa

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