Researchers at Uganda Virus Research Institute said that combining anti-AIDS drugs, an antibiotic and bed nets treated with insecticide could cut the rate of malaria infections in people infected with HIV by up to 95 percent.
"Our study was able to show that with the implementation of a few interventions the incidence of malaria can be dropped considerably," said Dr Jonathan Mermin, of the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda.
The finding was that antiretroviral drugs, the antibiotic co-trimoxazole and bed nets are each effective in combating malaria in HIV patients but when combined their impact is cumulative.
The impact of individual and combined treatments for malaria in about 1,000 HIV positive people in Uganda was studied by the researchers.
Co-trimoxazole, is a standard treatment worldwide for patients infected with HIV, reduced the incidence of malaria in the patients by 76 percent. When combined with anti-AIDS drugs it hit 92 percent and cut cases by up to 95 percent when the bed nets were included.
"Although these interventions work separately, the prime message is that together they are associated with a 95 percent reduction in malaria. Malaria then becomes a rare event among this population whereas before the interventions it was quite common," said Mermin.
According to WHO more than 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. The majority, more than 25 million, are in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2005 about 2.4 million people in the region died from HIV/AIDS, according to the UNAIDS, which is leading the global battle against the illness.
In this light of statistics this research is a new ray of light for millions of patients.