Global Fellows Research Academy
Institution: Botswana Harvard AIDS Partnership
Country of work: Botswana
What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?
I am a physician who has been engaged in HIV management in a high burden resource limited setting in Botswana, Africa for more than 10 years. I saw first hand the devastation caused by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The introduction of triple antiretroviral therapy has done wonders to the care of HIV/AIDS patients but the burden of medication and the risk of toxicities are still affecting the quality of life for these patients. HIV cure and remission research offers hope for the possibility of an “HIV free generation” not only to the HIV infected but also to the human race as a whole.
What is your current area of research?
I am a Study Coordinator/physician for the Early Infant Treatment Study at Botswana Harvard AIDS Partnership Institute. This study looks at early diagnosis of infants both at birth and in the peripartum period and the immunological and virological outcomes of early treatment on HIV positive infants’. We have successfully enrolled 20 HIV positive infants on treatment at around 1 or 2 days old. It’s exciting and rewarding to see HIV positive infants and children on medication doing very well and reaching their first year birthday without contacting any opportunistic infections or having multiple hospitalizations. I am also doing a number of sub-studies including one on Lopinavir/ritonavir tolerability among neonates and another one on point of care diagnosis using the Cepheid Viral load-testing platform.