Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division
Malaria is potentially fueling the spread of HIV in areas of sub-Saharan Africa where there is a substantial overlap between the two diseases; while concurrently HIV may be playing a role in boosting adult malaria-infection rates in some parts of the region. Using mathematical modeling techniques, VIDD researchers have found that malaria can increase the viral load of an HIV-infected person on the order of 10-fold, thereby augmenting the risk of HIV transmission. Conversely, HIV may play a role in the geographic expansion of malaria due to the already-compromised immune system of HIV-infected individuals. VIDD research into this synergistic global health threat holds promise for ameliorating morbidity and mortality of such infectious diseases.