Globally, 25 percent of new HIV cases occur among young women and adolescent girls in Africa. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, prevents infection when taken consistently, but stigma around the disease keeps some young women from maintaining usage, according to a new review by researchers at the University of Washington.
As part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE): A Plan for America initiative, the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) received $1.2 million to fund five research projects. This initiative allocates funding to HIV research with the goal of reducing new infections in the United States by 90 percent by 2030.
It is hard to get much of a reputation if nobody knows you’re around, and that has definitely been the case for mycoplasma genitalium, the tiny bacteria estimated to be more prevalent than the bug that causes gonorrhea but is almost completely off the public’s radar.
That’s because, until very recently, it has been difficult for front-line physicians to confirm that this particular microbe — the smallest bacteria ever detected — was present in specific patients.
Global Health Professor Explores Linkages Between Maternal HIV Infection, Breast Milk, and Infant Health
The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have awarded a grant to Christine McGrath, Associate Professor of Global Health, and Grace Aldrovandi, Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA, to evaluate the association between maternal HIV infection, breast milk, and the infant gut microbiome.
In a study of open-label Truvada as daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV among 427 young African women and adolescent girls, 95% initiated the HIV prevention strategy, and most used PrEP for the first three months. However, PrEP use fell among participants in this critical population during a year of follow-up clinic visits, although HIV incidence at 12 months was low. The preliminary results suggest that tailored, evidence-based adherence support strategies may be needed to durably engage young African women in consistent PrEP use.
In an open-label study of women in southern and eastern Africa, a vaginal ring that is inserted once a month and slowly releases an antiviral drug was estimated to reduce the risk of HIV by 39%, according to statistical modeling. In addition, the study found that participants appeared to use the ring more in the open-label study than in a previous clinical trial. These and other results of the HIV Open Label Extension (HOPE) study were presented today at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in Mexico City.
In late-May of 2019, Kenya’s high court voted to uphold laws criminalizing homosexual sex. This news was pertinent to Susan Graham, an Associate Professor in the UW Departments of Global Health and Medicine whose research focus is on HIV prevention and care for vulnerable populations. Graham began working in Kenya in 2004, and started research on HIV prevention and care for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) there in 2006.
In high-income countries like the U.S., the standard of care for people infected by HIV is to provide antiretroviral pills when the virus is found, even when there are no symptoms of AIDS. The strategy staves off the disease and has a second – big – benefit. It's been shown to prevent the spread of HIV in sexual encounters. It's called "treatment as prevention" (TasP in medical jargon), or "test and treat."
But in low-income countries, "test and treat" is not the typical approach to prevention. There's been no research to support it.
By Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times
The hormone shot — popular among African women who must use birth control in secret — is as safe as other methods, scientists reported.
For decades, many African women in need of birth control they could use in secret have relied on intramuscular hormone injections that prevent pregnancy for three months.
Mina Halpern’s interest in global health issues began when she worked as a peer educator at Planned Parenthood while attending high school in Olympia. She says this experience sparked a passion for the field of HIV, eventually leading her to the University of Washington, where she graduated with a Master’s in Public Health in 2006.