CSIR to research sun's effects on Aids

2012-05-29 21:46

Pretoria - Researchers are going to investigate how extreme sun exposure affects general health and HIV/Aids among South Africans, an expert said on Tuesday.

"Little attention has been paid to the human health impacts of sun exposure, specifically solar ultraviolet [UV] radiation exposure and appropriate measures to prevent them in South Africa," said Caradee Wright, of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

"The CSIR has many unanswered questions in this area of research, especially in Africa among different ethnic groups, for example the implications for HIV and Aids."

Wright is attached to the natural resources and the environment section of the CSIR, where the research programme was launched in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Unfamiliar diseases

With the main effects of solar UV radiation being skin cancers, ocular diseases and immune suppression, the research programme aimed to discover unfamiliar diseases and how to prevent them among South Africans.

The launch began with a seminar, where researchers and other interested parties could share their interests, knowledge and problems.

Cape Town University lecturer Lester Davids, whose research focuses on the use of skin as a model to understand underlying biological mechanisms of skin cancers, discussed the state of skin cancer in South Africa.

He said with South Africa second to Australia when it came to skin cancer, it was important for dark-skinned people to start caring for and protecting their skins.

"I think it’s something that we need to address, particularly in this country, that the incidence of melanoma in people with darker skins is on the increase, because people feel that with a darker skin they are inherently more protected and don't need sunscreen or some other form of protection."

He said he was sure there were hundreds more South Africans who were dying from skin cancer besides the reported 700 a year.

Solar radiation


Katlego Ncongwane of the SA Weather Services said data showed South Africa was experiencing increased solar radiation.

"There has been an abrupt increase of solar radiation in the past decade," she said.

She could not quantify the increase, but said it was placing South Africans at a high risk of chronic sun exposure.

Optometrist Mark Nagle said it was vital for people to be educated on factors which resulted in blindness, including the dangers of UV exposure.

"Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in South Africa and is responsible for about 50% of the prevalence of blindness - and this should be regarded as a national priority," said Nagle.

Wright said the research programme would investigate the effects of exposure to solar UV radiation across all population groups.

- SAPA

Read more on:    csir  |  hiv aids  |  health  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
  • Monday Somerset West - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.