Genetics of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy and related pain in Africans
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Despite the use of safer antiretroviral medications, the rate of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN), the most common neurological complication of HIV, remains high. This condition is often painful and has a negative effect on quality of life. Up to 90% of those with HIV-SN experience pain for which there is no effective analgesic treatment. Genetic factors are implicated, but there is a lack of a comprehensive body of research for African populations. This knowledge gap is even more pertinent as Africans are most affected by HIV. However, recent studies performed in Southern African populations have identified genes displaying potential as genetic markers for HIV-SN and HIV-SN-associated pain in Africans. Here, we review the published studies to describe current knowledge of genetic risk factors for this disease in Africa.
KeywordsHIV neuropathy Pain Genetics Africa
The authors are grateful to the School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand for the intramural facilities. HGNM extends her sincere thanks to the URC and BFRG of the University for providing her a postdoctoral fellowship, and AW to the Hillel Friedland Trust for Fellowship funding. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program received by the Burnet Institute.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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