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Could The Monkeypox Vaccine Be The Key To Stopping HIV In Its Tracks?

Could The Monkeypox Vaccine Be The Key To Stopping HIV In Its Tracks

Monkeypox, formally known as monkeypox, may just be the key to stopping HIV in its tracks, according to a recent publication from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) began studying monkeypox back in 2008 when it was first discovered in humans in the Republic of Congo and proved to be fatal to humans who had never been exposed to it before. 

Although its name implies that it is similar to smallpox, they are completely different viruses with different transmission methods and levels of contagiousness.

Efforts Currently Being Used To Prevent The Spread Of HIV

There is currently no cure for HIV. Although there are different drugs that can help keep the virus from progressing, those medications still fail some of the time.

Could The Monkeypox Vaccine Be The Key To Stopping HIV In Its Tracks?

The monkeypox vaccine could be a way for people with HIV to protect themselves against developing this disease. 

Currently, doctors may only recommend it for patients without an immune deficiency.

Will expanding vaccine eligibility help stop the spread of HIV?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to expand its monkeypox vaccine eligibility program. CDC officials are debating whether or not to offer the vaccine to men with HIV who are also at risk of contracting the virus. 

Men who have sex with other men and those who share needles with intravenous drug users are currently excluded from vaccination, however, this may change. Expanding eligibility would create a stronger wall against monkeypox by preventing those who live with HIV from contracting it.

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What is Monkeypox (and what does it have to do with HIV)?

Monkeypox is a type of virus that causes painful skin lesions and fever. Human monkeypox occurs when people are exposed to an infected animal or person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports cases mainly occur in remote places with poor healthcare infrastructures, such as African countries, South America, and some Asian countries. The symptoms can take anywhere from 3-7 days after exposure before they appear.

 The pox virus that causes monkeypox is closely related to a virus known as smallpox, which was eradicated from humans in 1980.

How does the monkeypox vaccine work against HIV?

It’s believed that male monkeys are also susceptible to HIV, as well as HIV-2 and SIV. This is concerning because males who have sex with other males account for 40% of new AIDS cases in the US (CDC). 

Luckily, there’s a potential vaccine already available. The monkeypox vaccine has been shown to reduce viremia and viral load among those infected with HIV by 96%.

Are there any issues with vaccinating people with compromised immune systems?

There is a need for safety evaluation studies to confirm that vaccination of people with compromised immune systems is safe. If there are any adverse reactions, it will be important to understand why these reactions occur and what can be done about them so that future administration of this vaccine is safe.

Other Questions About The Vaccine’s Efficacy and Availability

The benefits of this vaccine seem promising, but do we have enough information to be confident that it will be effective and affordable? What is the track record of other monkey pox vaccines like this one and how did they fare?

One of the biggest concerns of the vaccine is the price of the vaccine, the availability of the vaccine, and the effect of the vaccine on preventing HIV. There are also many unanswered questions about the efficacy of the vaccine which makes it difficult to say whether or not the vaccine would work for prevention purposes.

While there are a lot of unanswered questions about this proposed new vaccine, it’s really exciting and could potentially help us reduce rates of both HIV infection and complications from illness.

 In 2013, an estimated 1.6 million people became newly infected with HIV worldwide. An estimated 78% of those infections occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and 16% occurred in Asia.

 In 2016, an estimated 1.8 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses globally, and 35 million people are living with HIV worldwide.

References:

🔵 Center For Disease And Control(n.d)Monkeypox symptoms(Available Online): https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html

🔵 Florida Health (2022): Diseases and Conditions, monkeypox (Available Online): https://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/monkeypox/index.html

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