IrsiCaixa collaborates with the training of researchers in South Africa

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IrsiCaixa collaborates with the training of researchers in South Africa

  • Researcher Julia G Prado travels to the city of Durban to apply current knowledge on HIV to virus subtype C

IrsiCaixa’s researcher Julia G Prado recently travelled to South Africa to contribute to the training of researchers at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban. The collaboration has taken place for two weeks in the context of HIV Pathogenesis Programme of the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, with the aim of applying the current knowledge of HIV to virus subtype C, the most widespread in South Africa.

Current research in HIV has been developed primarily around subtype B, which mainly affects the western world, while subtype C is still quite unknown. Prado's participation, in collaboration with South African researcher Michelle Gordon, has permitted the application of laboratory techniques used in IrsiCaixa to study new patterns of subtype C mutations in antiretroviral therapy and how these affect the virus's resistance to drugs and
the biology of the virus.

South Africa is one of the countries worst affected by HIV. Specifically in the city of Durban there are areas where the prevalence of the epidemic is 60%, affecting mostly young girls in childbearing age and adult men. The cost of the treatment (including medication, monitoring of patients and new drugs) is added to the social and cultural stigmatization of people living with HIV.

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