From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is.
I’m Steve Ember in Washington.
Today on our program, we tell about a study that shows vitamins and mineral supplements can safely slow the progress of the virus that causes the disease AIDS.
The study found that when provided early to patients, a simple multivitamin combined with selenium can slow the progress of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. But one of the world’s top AIDS researchers is disputing the findings. We’ll hear from him later.
But first, we have a report from the World Health Organization. WHO officials now say children can and should be tested and treated for HIV, even if they are severely malnourished.
New Treatment Rules Suggested for Malnourished Children
The WHO says affected children can now be treated at home with special foods and antibiotic drugs, instead of being taken to a hospital for treatment.
WHO officials are defining severe acute malnutrition as very low weight for height, and severe wasting. They say almost 20 million children under the age of five suffer from the condition. Most of these boys and girls are said to live in Africa and Southeast Asia.
WHO 官员定义“严重急性营养不良”为体重身高比很低，且严重消瘦。他们说，有近 2 千万的 5 岁以下儿童处于这种状况。据称这些孩子大多数生活在非洲和东南亚。
The WHO says malnutrition is one reason for more than a third of all deaths of children under the age of five.
WHO 称，营养不良是超过 1/3 的 5 岁以下儿童死亡的原因之一。
Zita Weise Prinzo helped to write the new report. She works in the WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
Zita Weise Prinzo 参与撰写了这篇新报告。她在世界卫生组织的健康与发展营养部门工作。
She says the WHO is now advising that not all severely acutely malnourished children go to a hospital. She says children already identified with the condition can be treated at home if they are hungry and have no other medical problem. She notes that a hospitalized child could develop other infections. And, being at home avoids hospital costs and lets a caretaker stay with the child.
Ms. Prinzo says home care does not mean doctors will not see the child. Doctors will work closely with families to help them give the child special foods and antibiotics, and examine the child from time to time.
The WHO also says children with severe acute malnutrition should be tested -- and, if necessary, treated -- for HIV, the cause of AIDS.
Ms. Prinzo says that such testing was not advised in the past. That was because there was not enough knowledge about treating severe acute malnutrition, or even children who have HIV, with the available drugs.
The WHO report sets measures for identifying children at risk of severe acute malnutrition before they develop serious health problems. These include use of vitamin A supplements in treatment and detailed suggestions for treating babies under the age of six months.
这份 WHO 报告提出了在孩子出现严重健康问题之前鉴定严重急性营养不良的措施，包括在治疗中使用维生素 A 补剂，以及治疗 6 个月以下婴儿的详细建议。
Ms. Prinzo says if the new guidelines are enforced at the country level, the chance of survival for children with severe acute malnutrition will be greatly improved. However, she said many developing countries do not have the money or workers to carry out the recommendations.
You’re listening to As It Is from VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember.
Disputed Study Claims Vitamins, Minerals Slow Progress of HIV
Patients with HIV often develop shortages of vitamins in the body. Researchers examined whether giving these patients a multivitamin with a mineral supplement helps to improve the body’s natural defenses in fighting disease.
For 30 years, AIDS has been a major health problem in some African countries south of the Sahara Desert. In Botswana, one of every four adults is infected with HIV. Yet the country also has aggressive AIDS prevention campaigns. That is why Professor Marianna Baum decided to carry out her research on HIV and vitamins there.
30 年来，艾滋病成为了一些撒哈拉以南非洲国家的主要健康问题。在博茨瓦纳，有1/4 成年人感染艾滋病，而该国家还有颇为积极的艾滋病预防运动。这也是为什么 Marianna Baum 教授决定对那里的艾滋病和维生素展开研究。
“Botswana has been one of the hardest-hit countries with the HIV virus.”
Professor Baum studied almost 900 newly-infected adults in Botswana who had not yet been given anti-AIDS drugs that target HIV. The adults were divided into groups. Each group got different combinations of vitamins B, C and E, the mineral selenium, or a harmless substance -- a placebo.
Baum 教授研究了博茨瓦纳近 900 例新感染艾滋病的成年人，他们尚未接受抗艾滋病药物。这些成年人被分组，每组接受不同剂量组合的维生素B、C、E 和矿物质硒，或者一种无害物质——安慰剂。
Most patients with HIV do not have enough of these vitamins. The vitamins help to strengthen the body’s immune system. Professor Baum says she thought the multivitamins by themselves or selenium by itself would help strengthen the immune system. She was wrong.
“We were surprised to find that only the combination was effective.”
Studies show that when people with HIV begin taking anti-retroviral drugs shortly after infection, they can stay healthy and are less likely to pass the virus to their sexual partners. But many patients do not have enough money to pay for treatment.
Professor Baum says the vitamin and mineral therapy combination should help people in low-income countries better control the virus.
“A simple multivitamin supplementation with selenium provided early in HIV disease can actually slow the HIV disease progression, and it is safe. It is low-cost and it should be provided very early in HIV infection.”
She says the vitamin therapy should not replace anti-retroviral drugs, but it can help people who cannot get those medicines.
American Anthony Fauci is a world famous expert on AIDS. He disagrees with the findings of the study.
美国的 Anthony Fauci 是世界知名艾滋病专家。他不同意这些研究成果。
“I haven’t read the paper, but having taken care of HIV-infected individuals for three decades, I would doubt that vitamins are going to have a major effect on suppressing the virus.”
“我还没有读这篇文章，但与感染艾滋病病毒的人打交道 30 年，我很怀疑维生素能对抑制该病毒有明显效果。”
Dr. Fauci says vitamin and mineral supplements might make a patient generally healthier. But he says only anti-retroviral drugs have been proven to control HIV.
Professor Baum’s study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Banded Wooly Worm: A New Source of Weather Predicting?
It’s As It Is, coming to you from VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember.
[Dean Martin Sings “Let It Snow”]
Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…
Finally, many Americans depend on weather experts to tell what the upcoming seasons will be like. But these days, others are predicting winter weather based on the wooly bear caterpillar, also known as the banded wooly worm.
A popular story says the little insect can tell us what kind of season lies ahead. It has dark, black bands at each end and a reddish brown color in the middle. The story says that if the reddish-brown ring on its body is small, the winter weather will be severe. But wide bands of reddish-brown mean a mild winter.
So what kind of season will this winter be? That seems to depend on which wooly worm you look at! Me? Think I’ll look at some wide-banded wooly worms…and cross my fingers.
As It Is is a production of VOA Learning English. Steve Ember here, thanks for joining us. See you next time.
Let it Snow
Let it snow
Let it snow!