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Human Herpesviruses (HHV’s), Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Africa, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Human Herpesviruses (HHV’s) are ubiquitous in human populations globally, and they cause significant morbidity and mortality. HHV’s establish a latent infection that is accompanied by periodic virus reactivation as a result of HIV infections. Further, HIV/AIDS infection in sub-Saharan Africa is perceived to be a significant health concern as it accounts for up to 70% of infectious diseases in the region. Until now, the role played by HHVs is increasingly being recognized. The co-infection of HIV with HHV’s changes severity or the natural course of HIV infection which defines the AIDS conditions in HIV infected individuals. Presently, treatment of HIV/AIDS by antiviral drugs targets the clinical manifestations of both HIV and HHVs at their productive stage and boost the immunity of HIV infected individuals, but they are ineffective at eliminating these viruses (HHVs and HIV) from the infected persons. This review focuses on outlining the epidemiology, distribution and role played by HHV’s in the pathogenesis of HIV infection in African countries. Additionally, this information is significant in crystallizing and providing an update on recent advancements on HHV’s and HIV infections in Africa and possible future directions in this field of research.