Supplements Reduce Frequency of Diarrhea Without Adverse Impact on Viral Load
Zinc-deficient children living in communities where they do not receive adequate amounts of zinc from their diet should be given supplements, even if they are HIV-infected, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions. Previously, it was not known if zinc would speed up HIV disease progression in children by increasing their viral load. Zinc supplementation is known to decrease the frequency of diarrhea and pneumonia in uninfected children. The study is published in the November 26, 2005, issue of The Lancet.
“We set out to look at the safety and impact of zinc supplements in children with HIV. Not only did we learn that zinc is safe for these children, but we also realized that this may be a low-cost intervention to reduce morbidity in HIV-infected children who don’t have access to antiretroviral therapy or are not eligible for treatment,” said William J. Moss, MD, MPH, senior author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology.
Kenna Lowe | EurekAlert!
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