December 13, 2010
In a new op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, Sabin President Dr. Peter Hotez argues that, "some of the world's most glaring health problems affecting impoverished girls and women are also some of the easiest to address."
The op-ed highlights female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), a parasitic worm infection that produces painful ulcers of the uterus, cervix and lower genital tract and affects at least 50 million African women. A study conducted in Zimbabwe found that FGS is associated with threefold increase in the likelihood of acquiring HIV/AIDS during sex.
However, Hotez contends, there is a remarkable solution: "It is possible to prevent the genital lesions from developing by treating at-risk girls and women once a year with a medicine known as praziquantel, provided we begin the treatments when they are little girls."