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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of August 6, 2017


#3: What Can We Learn From Outbreaks of HIV and Zika?

Viruses have been around for at least 450 million years, and for the past 110 years, we have been studying them, always trying to catch up to the latest outbreak. An increase in globalization may help facilitate the fruitful exchange of ideas and research on infectious diseases, but it also enables the rapid spread of these diseases. Advances in science and technology are enabling us to respond to these outbreaks faster and more effectively; however, there is much room for improvement in this regard. To this end, in this article I present parallels seen between the recent outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and the HIV pandemic experienced in the 1980s, highlighting actions and outcomes that are creating a similar response.

In late 1981, HIV became an epidemic in the United States, and soon after became a global pandemic. Initially thought to be a disease of male homosexuals, not much attention was given to the virus until it came to be considered deadly. Up to that point, it was hypothesized that HIV caused “minor” issues, such as Kaposi sarcoma. Soon after, however, the virus was identified as the cause of a weakened immune system that allowed multiple opportunistic diseases, such as pneumonia, to infect those who were already suffering with HIV.

Read more about what we can learn from outbreaks of HIV and Zika, here.

#2: Necrotizing Stomatitis as First Sign of HIV Infection

In an in-press article in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology, Scott M. Peters, DDS, from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York, New York, and colleagues report a case of a 20-year-old homosexual Caucasian man with undiagnosed HIV that first presented as necrotizing ulcerative stomatitis (NUS).

According to the authors, periodontal disease associated with HIV infection usually presents as linear gingival erythema (LGE), necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG), or necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis (NUP). However, they explain that these are not distinct entities; instead, they reflect a spectrum of disease severity.

In addition, the term “NUS” describes progression of this inflammatory process from an initial infection of the marginal gingivae to massive tissue destruction within the oral cavity, including underlying bone.

Periodontal disease is a common problem in patients with HIV infection, just as it is in individuals without HIV infection. However, LGE, NUG, NUP, and NUS are atypical presentations of periodontal disease that are strongly associated with HIV infection.

Continue reading about necrotizing stomatitis as a first sign of HIV infection, here.

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