The War against HTLV-1 Virus In Australia

The WHO is being urged by doctors and scientists from around the world to take action against the lethal HTLV-1 virus which has been detected at extremely high rates in central Australia particularly among Aboriginal Australians. An average of 45% of adults in five Aboriginal communities in central Australia tested positive for the virus. No vaccine has been developed yet for HTLV-1.

The World Health Organization is being urged by doctors and scientists from around the world to take action against the lethal HTLV-1 virus which has been detected at extremely high rates in central Australia particularly among Aboriginal Australians. The virus is an ancient blood-borne virus and it’s considered to be a distant relative to HIV. No vaccine has been developed yet for HTLV-1. An average of 45% of adults in five Aboriginal communities in central Australia tested positive for the virus. This information was revealed last month by the ABC.  

The HTLV-1 was first identified 40 years old by American virologist, Dr, Robert Gallo from

the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He told ABC news:  “I was astounded to learn of the hyper-endemic numbers in the Aboriginal population.”

Dr. Gallo along with fifty other world-leading virologists and organisations from the Global Virus Network have written to the WHO to said it’s time to eradicate HTLV-1. University of Queensland sexual health and HTLV-1 expert Dr. Fabiola Martin said that Australia needs to step up when it comes to testing for his disease. She added: “HTLV-1, like all blood-borne viruses, it doesn’t discriminate, it can be transmitted via bodily fluids, and people don’t know until they’re ill.”

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