Altered Skin Barrier on HIV-Infected Children - Study Reveals
A study conducted by UKZN’s Dr Navlin Naidoo has shown that HIV alters the skin barrier of Black African children infected by the disease.
The skin barrier research - a section of Naidoo’s studies for his master’s degree - was undertaken to determine and compare the skin barrier of HIV-infected Black African children with that of non-infected individuals who all attend a local community healthcare clinic in Durban.
Two well-known parameters were tested to determine the competence of the skin barrier: Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and Skin Surface Hydration (SSH).
The significance of the research results, says Naidoo, is that pharmaceutical companies may now be able to use the findings to develop better products for these patients and the work may also have a beneficial impact in the wider contest. ‘Furthermore, this study may now form guidelines to test children in all race groups.
‘I was asked to present this research at the College of Health Sciences last year and was awarded a prize,’ said Naidoo.
Earlier this year, Naidoo received an invitation to submit an abstract of his research to the University of Michigan in the United States for the Global Youth Advancement Summit. He was selected out of hundreds of applicants world-wide and presented his research at the summit held in June. His expenses were fully sponsored.
‘I think it is important to encourage young people in South Africa to aspire to be great and achieve greatness and to actually make a significant difference in the world at large. ‘Despite the difficulties we face as a nation we are still able to make a positive impact in the global scientific and healthcare areas,’ he said.
Naidoo, who is the Medical Officer in the Trauma Unit at Addington Hospital in Durban, studied Medicine at UKZN where he obtained his Master’s degree in Dermatology.
Words: Lihle Sosibo