North Korea reveals explosive HIV outbreak—after claiming to be disease-free

North Korea reveals explosive HIV outbreak—after claiming to be disease-free

Enlarge / This undated picture released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 18, 2016, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the newly built Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital in Pyongyang. (credit: Getty | KCNA)

North Korea is experiencing an explosive outbreak of HIV amid limited access to diagnostic testing and treatments, according to an exclusive report by Science.

Independent researchers and government health officials tell the outlet that the isolated East Asian country confirmed its first HIV case in 1999 and has quietly watched infections balloon to over 8,300 cases in the last few years. The researchers and North Korean officials have submitted a report on the matter to the new medical preprint server medRxiv, which is scheduled to go live on Tuesday, June 25.

The case estimate stands in stark contrast to a celebration in Pyongyang last year on December

Read the rest Continue Reading
“Quacks” blamed for HIV outbreak that infected hundreds of kids

“Quacks” blamed for HIV outbreak that infected hundreds of kids

Enlarge / A Pakistani paramedic takes a blood sample from a baby for a HIV test at a state-run hospital in Rato Dero in the district of Larkana of the southern Sindh province on May 9, 2019. (credit: Getty | RIZWAN TABASSUM)

More than 600 people—most of them children, aged one month to 15 years—have tested positive for HIV in the southern Pakistani town of Ratto Dero, numerous news outlets have reported.

While officials are still investigating the cause of the outbreak, health workers say that rogue doctors and unqualified people practicing medicine are behind the virus’ spread, mostly from using contaminated syringes. Such medical charlatans are popular in the area because they’re often cheaper and more accessible than trained medical providers.

Of the 607 or so confirmed cases in the outbreak so far, 75 percent are in children, according to reporting from the BBC. Cases started appearing in

Read the rest Continue Reading