Mother and infant pair at a health facility in Kenya. Paul J. Brown Photography.
Children born to mothers living with HIV are at an increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection, and young infants are particularly vulnerable to rapidly progressing to TB disease. Isoniazid preventative therapy (IPT) is used routinely to prevent TB after known TB exposure, but recent data suggest most transmission (70-90%) to young children occurs outside the household without identified exposure. Whether IPT can be used to prevent TB initial infection is unknown.
African children with delayed HIV diagnosis have a high risk of death, and there is an urgent need for novel strategies to improve their care. As HIV treatment expands across Africa, Global WACh researchers seek to understand the complex interplay of infectious diseases and HIV infections, which is pivotal to the development of more effective treatments. Dr. Jennifer Slyker (Associate Professor, Global Health; Adjunct Associate Professor, Epidemiology) is leading a new study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to investigate how common, asymptomatic co-infections affect clinical outcomes in critically ill HIV-infected Kenyan children during hospitalization.
Over the spring academic quarter at UW, Global WACh investigators and student research assistants shared their work across various presentation platforms across campus. Research span from assessing environmental enteric dysfunction on child health and survival to evaluating risks of depression among HIV-infected adolescent girls, to improved treatment of TB and HIV co-infections.
Click on the presentation titles below to access the recordings to view and learn more about our research. A list of upcoming virtual presentations can be found below.
The observation of World TB Day each year on March 24th provides an opportunity to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and the measures needed to find, treat, and prevent this devastating disease that surpasses HIV as the leading infectious cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. With the success of HIV treatment globally, most children born to mothers living with HIV will remain HIV-negative. However, these HIV-exposed children remain at high risk for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection and disease.
The annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) brings together top basic, translational, and clinical researchers from around the world to share the latest studies, important developments, and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases. Due to concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the US, CROI 2020 was virtually held from March 8 to March 11, 2020.
Anna Larsen (second right) with PrIMA Kenya-based study staff members (left to right): Joseph Sila (Data manager), Daniel Odinga (Laboratory Manager), Salphine Watoyi (Data Manager), Marwa Motongori (Data Manager), and Harison Lagat (Study Coordinator)
Anna Larsen, second year PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology and Global WACh research assistant, is the recipient of two notable funding awards that will shape her academic journey towards an independent research career in maternal-child HIV. She is one of 11 student awardees of the Department of Global Health’s 2019 Thomas Francis Jr. Fellowship and one of an even more limited group of awardees of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) prestigious F31 predoctoral training fellowship to support her dissertation research. The awards provide funding support for fieldwork activities and dedicated supervised research training.
Left to right: Dr. Grace John-Stewart, Dr. Pamela Kohler, Dr. Anjuli Wagner, Dr. John Kinuthia
In February 2020, Global WACh researchers of ongoing PrEP implementation studies are launching a new five-year study titled, “PrEP in pregnancy, accelerating reach and efficiency (PrEPARE).” PrEPARE is funded through a National Institute of Health supplement to the AGYW study, led by Global WACh Director, Dr. Grace John-Stewart and Dr. Pamela Kohler (Global Health, Psychosocial and Community Health) to evaluate PrEP adherence among adolescent girls and young women, and a K01 grant awarded to Dr. Anjuli Wagner (Acting Assistant Professor, Global Health).
Principal investigators, Drs. John-Stewart, Kohler, Wagner, and Dr. John Kinuthia (Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya) will lead the PrEPARE study team that includes Global WACh researchers, Dr. Jillian Pintye (School of Nursing), Dr. Kristin Beima-Sofie (Global Health), Julia Dettinger (Global Health) and Laurén Gomez (Global Health).
Global WACh is pleased to welcome new Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Erica Lokken, to our team at UW! Dr. Lokken successfully defended her PhD in Epidemiology dissertation in August and received a National Institute of Health F32 postdoctoral fellowship in October. This fellowship will support her long-term career goal to become an independent investigator conducting research that informs interventions to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health, including outcomes such as STI/HIV acquisition, fertility, and miscarriage. The three-year fellowship will allow Dr. Lokken to study how alterations in the vaginal microbiota may partly explain the increased risk of HIV acquisition among pregnant and postpartum women compared to non-pregnant women. Understanding the relationship between high-risk bacterial species and vaginal inflammation across the pregnancy and postpartum periods may inform the development of prevention strategies to reduce risks of reproductive health complications.
We are delighted to announce Dr. Kristin Beima-Sofie (Acting Assistant Professor, Global Health) is a recipient of the 2019 UW/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) New Investigator Award! The award offers start-up funding for junior investigators to conduct independent HIV/AIDS research to support future scholarly endeavors. Dr. Beima-Sofie’s study titled, “Developing a data-informed caregiver intervention to improve adolescent HIV,” will explore perspectives of caregivers of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) and key stakeholders in Kenya to design an intervention that equips caregivers with the knowledge and social support skills to most effectively improve ALHIV health outcomes.
We are pleased to announce Dr. Arianna Means (Acting Assistant Professor, Global Health) received a 2019 UW/Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) New Investigator Award! This award offers start-up funds to junior investigators to conduct independent HIV/AIDS research that supports their future scholarly endeavors. Dr. Means’ project titled “Improved identification and treatment of acute malnutrition for HIV-exposed children in Kenya,” focuses on using implementation science methods to evaluate adherence to HIV nutrition guidelines among HIV-infected and HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children under two years of age and identify opportunities for strategic improvement.