Brazil is one of the countries with the largest number of people who have been infected with HTLV (human T cell lymphotropic virus) worldwide. Although it has discovered more than 30 years ago, it is still poorly understood by the general population and even by health professionals, which results in a diagnosis problem and, as a result , to increase the virus more.
However, HTLV needs much attention. The virus can cause severe diseases such as myopopathy (neurodexenerative disease that causes a weakness in the legs, causing walking difficulties, resulting in paralysis in more severe cases) and leukemia (cancer that occurs in the formation of blood cells, making it difficult for the infection control agency).
In addition to these serious diseases, the virus can also cause other health problems, such as skin diseases, lower joint pain (calves), lumbar (lower back), difficulty in coating or pollination. The symptoms that cause HTLV are increasing and usually feel in the region below the navel line. Usually, the diseases associated with the virus appear after the age of 40, but they can become earlier.
"Unfortunately, many people with HTLV do not know they've been infected, and they can transfer the virus to others. As there is no treatment to remove the virus, it is necessary to include the transmission of the infection , which can occur through unprotected sexual intercourse, by contacting contaminated blood by splitting needles and sprays, and of the mother who has been infected with the baby, by breastfeeding " UFMG Professor Medical School, Denise Utsch explained.
It also explains that HTLV is not contracted by dividing nail clippers, for example, although this is one of the types of other serious disease transmission, such as hepatitis.
According to the professor of the Department of Microbiology of the Institute of Biological Sciences of UFMG, Edel Stancioli, it is considered that HTLV virus is an overwhelming infection in the world.
"There is no financial contribution to the research and no public health response has co-ordinated, ie there is no uniform treatment for HTLV patients. There are several times the patient is screened, but & # 39 ; The diagnosis has been closed because the affected areas can be varied. In addition, we have a few Referral Centers for the transportation of carriers. Without investments, we can not move forward in research and there is a lot of information on HTLV is still anonymous and this is the reality we need to change. In the near future, we hope to be able to develop therapeutic vaccines to treat people, "he said.
Tests and treatment
In 2008, the Government of Minas Gerais Law published 17344, which makes it compulsory to perform biological tests for diagnostic HTLV virus infection and treat the identified causes. In Brazil, testing for HTLV is compulsory in all blood banks to avoid contamination through blood transfusion.
Because HTLV high rates are among family groups, it is important if one person in the family carries the virus, each other will be proven to see if they have the virus too.
"Knowing the diagnosis is the first step so that the infected person can receive adequate medical help to control the symptoms and achieve a better quality of life," said Professor UFMG Medical School, Júlia Caporali.
The teacher also emphasizes the importance of changing the practice in sexual relations. "We should use condoms in all sexual relationships. And when we keep stable partners that we do not use condoms, we should do some time from one another, because we can not know that we have decided a virus, because of the A immune window that varies from disease to disease. For occasional partners, these measures are essential, "it warns.
In Belo Horizonte, there are two Referral Centers for HTLV virus treatment: the Center for Training and Address in Synthetic Paralysitic Diseases (CTR / DIP Orestes Diniz) and Eduardo de Menezes Hospital.
"CTR Orestes Diniz is a partnership of Belo Horizonte City Hall with Das Clínicas Hospital. The HTLV laboratory operates once a week and receives referrals from the city hall, Hemominas and Ysbyty das Clínicas. Laboratory Eduardo de Menezes, of Fhemig Network, also operates once a week and following the flow of the Regulation, just like Orestes Diniz, "he comes to the conclusion.