PEPFAR: Oh what good you have done!

In 1982, the first case of HIV was reported in South Africa. Thereafter the unerring march of AIDS and death ravaged our communities, filled our hospital beds and cemeteries and rendered families bereft of young breadwinners, parents and children. Anti-HIV treatment, known as antiretroviral therapy was the miraculous epidemic game changer – but it was…

Heart disease and living with HIV

HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was: antiretroviral therapy (ARTs) have become so sophisticated that HIV-infected people have a normal life expectancy. However, now that HIV is a manageable, chronic disease, there is a shift in the focus of HIV research.  Jason Baker, an associate professor of medicine at the University of…

How can Circumcision Prevent HIV?

Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) is currently recommended for men living in areas where HIV rates are high and prevention tools are scarce. Some men, understandably, are unwilling to undergo MMC. Nyaradzo Chigorimbo-Tsikiwa, with the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and the Division of Immunology, is researching the cellular and molecular composition of the foreskin. The goal…

Closing in on Airborne TB

We were very fortunate to have Professor Robin Wood and Dr Keren Middelkoop, both from the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF), update us on the tuberculosis (TB) aerobiology project. The project aims to characterise how airborne TB infects people in different spaces. South Africa is one of the six countries globally with the highest rates…

Medical Male Circumcision Uptake to Prevent HIV

The last research meeting of April was on the subject of medical male circumcision (MMC), hosted by Nathan Beijneveld. He presented research of the acceptability and uptake of MMC in two adolescent populations in South Africa. This is a study with MACHO (Males Actively Choosing Healthy Options). The study investigated the uptake and acceptability of MMC…

Andrea Mendelsohn (left) & Shabaana Osman | DTHF March 31st Research Meeting 2017

GeneXpert well received by adolescents

The final March research presentation was hosted by Andrea Mendelsohn and Shabaana Osman. Mendelsohn presented the first portion of an ongoing research trial in Masiphumelele. They have been testing the efficacy and response of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) check in adolescents using the GeneXpert machine. So far, the results have been positive. The centre…

March Research Presentations

At the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s (DTHF) March research meeting, we had the pleasure of not one, but two presentations. The speakers were the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Ms Monika Kamkuemah and the DTHF’s Dr Emily Krogstad. HIV and Chronic Disease Ms Kamkuemah presented her PhD proposal where she intends to examine HIV in adolescents alongside…

Undetectable HIV is Untransmittable

Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) strongly endorses the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) core message: Undetectable HIV is Untransmittable HIV (U=U). Their message is condensed to the simple hashtag #UequalsU. An HIV-positive person who maintains an undetectable viral load with the aid of regular, successful treatment cannot transmit HIV sexually (1). Bruce Richman, a cofounder of…