Commercial Logging and HIV Epidemic | CDC EID

From CDC website: "...We found a high seroprevalence of HIV among young women in a commercial logging area in Cameroon. The vulnerability of these young women could be related to commercial logging and the social and economic networks it induces. The environmental changes related to this industry in Equatorial Africa may facilitate HIV dissemination...More than 20 years after the beginning of the HIV epidemic, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) stated that the epidemic was now taking hold in many African countries (1). An estimated 25.0–28.2 million persons are already infected in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 70% of all infections worldwide, and Africans represent 10% of the world population. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in Africa (2.2–2.4 million deaths in 2003) (2). UNAIDS particularly underlined the rapidly rising prevalence in Cameroon, a central African country (4.7% in 1996, 11.8% in 2001) (1,3). As in many countries, these data come from sentinel surveillance of women attending urban and semi-urban antenatal clinics...Data from rural areas are scarce, and the dynamics of HIV infection are poorly documented. Travel has been linked to an increased risk among rural populations (4). The recent environmental changes related to commercial logging in Equatorial Africa could potentially facilitate HIV dissemination. Commercial logging has led to road construction in remote forested areas, human migration (especially of single men), and develop social and economic networks (including commercial sex work) that support this industry (5). In Cameroon, commercial logging has been growing for at least 4 decades. We have previously shown that these environmental changes might represent a risk to human health through exposure to simian immunodeficiency viruses (6). We investigated the seroprevalence of HIV, the nature of circulating HIV genetic variants, and factors associated with HIV infection in a logging area of southern Cameroon..."

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