With $1.45 million over five years from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, a pair of Brown University professors will work with colleagues in Ghana to build the research capacity needed to address the deadly co-epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis.
The bigger hurdles are the systemic disadvantages that are particularly pronounced among this vulnerable population, said Abigail Harrison, a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University in Rhode Island and an HIV/AIDs and reproductive health researcher. “What we really see in this population is girls who have multiple disadvantages in their lives so they can't implement the strategies needed to prevent infection,” Harrison said.
Sexually transmitted infections can make HIV transmission more likely, undermining the prevention benefit of HIV treatment. A new study of HIV-positive patients in Cape Town, South Africa, found that the prevalence of such co-infections was much higher before beginning HIV treatment. Testing for and treating STIs and HIV together could therefore improve HIV prevention
A new three-year USAID “PEER” grant of nearly $450,000 will allow a team led by Judith Ongaji Kimiywe of Kenyatta University with guidance from Stephen McGarvey of Brown University’s School of Public Health to conduct a pilot implementation of the “Baby Friendly Community Initiative” in the rural district of Igembe North.