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HIV-like illness 'not a virus'


The Disease Control Department is seeking to ease public fears over a disease found in Thailand with HIV-like symptoms, saying it is not contagious.

The disease, identified by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine last Thursday, has been found among Asian adults who built antibodies that stopped their immune functions.

The NIH studied more than 200 people mainly from Thailand and Taiwan after the disease, recorded in 2004, was most commonly found in the two countries.

Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai, department deputy chief, said the public should not panic because the disease will not pass from person to person.

The department is studying in detail the medical report on the disease, which is called "adult-onset immunodeficiency syndrome", and expects to have a clearer understanding of the syndrome within three days, Dr Suwanchai said.

The disease is not caused by a virus, though it resembled HIV in that it weakens human bodies, making them prone to infection with other diseases.


Copyright © 2012 -Bangkok Post, Publisher. All rights reserved to The Bangkok Post. Reproduction of this article (other than one copy for personal reference) must be cleared through the Bangkok Post.

Information in this article was accurate in August 27, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.