Sun's effect on Aids to be studied
Researchers are going to investigate how extreme sun exposure affects general health and HIV/Aids among South Africans, an expert said yesterday.
"Little attention has been paid to the human health impacts of sun exposure, specifically solar ultraviolet radiation exposure and appropriate measures to prevent them in South Africa," said Caradee Wright, of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Wright is attached to the natural resources and the environment section of the CSIR, where the research programme was launched in Pretoria yesterday.
With the main effects of solar UV radiation being skin cancers, ocular diseases and immune suppression, the research programme aims to discover unfamiliar diseases and how to prevent them.
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 skin cancer.
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.