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HIV/AIDS

10 June 2010

Fungus-tainted corn spreading HIV?

A new study raises the question of whether corn contaminated with a fungus-derived toxin is helping to facilitate the transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

A new study raises the question of whether corn contaminated with a fungus-derived toxin is helping to facilitate the transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

The toxins, called fumonisins, are produced by a particular type of fungus that can grow in corn after the plant is damaged by pests such as the cornstalk borer.
 

Using data from the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the researchers found that as sub-Saharan countries' per-person corn consumption rose, so did HIV transmission rates.

What the researchers found

 

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