THE SELENIUM STORY
A Rwandan medical team joined a Canadian and American research team to conduct a two year randomized clinical trial to study the use of selenium supplementation with HIV+ persons. The clinical trial involved 300 HIV+ patients at two hospital sites in Kigali, Rwanda. The outcome showed that those in the selenium arm of the study had a significant decrease in rate of decline of CD4 count, a marker indicating the declining state of health and the progression towards disease. This study suggests that using supplemental selenium, a low-cost nutritional supplement, could not only benefit the health of HIV+ patients, but could lower the cost of AIDS treatment in resource-limited settings by delaying the onset for the need of drug intervention. This is the first study of its kind to be conducted in Africa.
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