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Editorial

Chagas Disease: “The New HIV/AIDS of the Americas”

  • Peter J. Hotez mail,

    hotez@bcm.edu

    Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, and Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Eric Dumonteil,

    Affiliation: Laboratorio de Parasitologia, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales “Dr Hideyo Noguchi”, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

    X
  • Laila Woc-Colburn,

    Affiliations: National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Jose A. Serpa,

    Affiliations: National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Sarah Bezek,

    Affiliations: National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, Department of Emergency Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Morven S. Edwards,

    Affiliations: National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Camden J. Hallmark,

    Affiliations: National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Laura W. Musselwhite,

    Affiliation: Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America

    X
  • Benjamin J. Flink,

    Affiliation: Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America

    X
  • Maria Elena Bottazzi

    Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, and Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America

    X
  • Published: May 29, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001498

Reader Comments (1)

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Inappropriate

Posted by davidmcconnell on 01 Jun 2012 at 02:01 GMT

Unfortunately, this article has been picked up by Yahoo News. Maybe a "PR" effect like this was intended. Likening Chagas' disease to AIDS/HIV is, in my opinion, a pretty disgraceful publicity stunt and not warranted by the science.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Inappropriate

susana1 replied to davidmcconnell on 01 Jun 2012 at 13:14 GMT

I completely agree with your comment, it further stigmatizes people living with Chagas disease. In addition, there is not mention of the research work in Latin America, for example the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Brazil), a leading research institution in Latin America, or the fact that there are advanced plans to produce benznidazol in Argentina.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Inappropriate

jimpalmer replied to davidmcconnell on 04 Jun 2012 at 07:25 GMT

There is a danger in over-interpreting this editorial. The intent appears more (to me at least) not to say that Chagas's disease is "like" AIDS but to explore interesting parallels within the epidemiology -- there is no honor or dishonor here.

To declare the article a "disgraceful publicity stunt" probably does not reflect the intent of the writer, although one cannot enter his mind. A deeper question I have is: should ANY researcher, for that matter, be vilified for making observations? Is that not what the scientific method demands prior to development of a hypothesis?

Sadly, most patients with Chagas are not well-heeled and therefore Chagas research struggles to obtain the backing of large pharma or research organizations. Let's hope the outcome, if awareness IS raised, result in millions of people being brought closer to a cure.

No competing interests declared.