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Saturday, June 10, 2023

‘Horrific’ Mpox Affects Advanced HIV Patients

According to a researcher, "the virus appears to be behaving fundamentally differently in these individuals" 

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UNITED KINGDOM: Immunosuppressed HIV-positive individuals have been found to have a severe and “horrific” form of mpox that appears to be fatal in 15% of instances.

Although no cases have been found in people who have received solid organ transplants or have blood malignancies, these groups may also be at risk.

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“Anyone who tests positive for mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, as well as those who are at high risk of contracting HIV, should be tested for the virus,” according to experts.

They also want Mpox to be added to the World Health Organization’s list of serious infections that are especially dangerous to people with advanced HIV. If this happens, it may be possible for those at risk to receive more financial and medical support.

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Since May 2022, over 85,000 cases of mpox have been reported from 110 different countries, with 93 deaths.Many of these cases have involved males who have had sex with other men, and 38 to 50% of people diagnosed with mpox also have HIV; the vast majority of them are receiving treatment for their HIV and leading healthy lives.

Prof. Chloe Orkin at the Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust and colleagues looked at 382 cases of people with advanced HIV disease and mpox, including 27 who had died from mpox during the current outbreak, after hearing reports of particularly severe mpox infections in HIV patients.

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According to Orkin, whose research is reported, “the virus appears to be behaving fundamentally differently in these individuals.” 

According to the data now available, this type of sickness appears to kill 15% of people with severe HIV and immunosuppression. In comparison, that number may rise to 27% in those with the lowest CD4 cell counts (a marker of how HIV has weakened the immune system).

“This particular mpox is not a risk for all HIV-positive people. The symptoms and prognosis of mpox infection appear identical in HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy and those with a healthy CD4 level. Although it is an awful disease, I wouldn’t want it on anyone,” Orkin said.

Also Read: Monkeypox Outbreak Can Be Eradicated in Europe – WHO


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