Global WACh

July 26, 2019

Global WACh at IAS 2019

This week, more than 10 Global WACh researchers attended the 10th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science, the world’s most influential meeting on HIV research and its applications.  Our researchers also attended and presented at IAS-related events—the 11th International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics and the TB/HIV Symposium: “A new era in TB prevention: Implications for people living with HIV.”

Among all three scientific gatherings, Global WACh had 17 poster abstracts, 2 oral abstracts, and 1 oral symposia abstract accepted to present.  Our collaborator from Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya, Dr. John Kinuthia, co-chaired the oral abstract discussion titled “HIV testing: Pushing the envelope.” Click here for a full list of the accepted abstracts with links to available abstracts, electronic posters, and presentation slides.

Scroll below for photos and highlights from the conferences.

Global WACh faculty, staff, and students at the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics. From left: Jillian Neary, Dr. Anjuli Wagner, Dr. Kate Wilson, Dr. Kristin Beima-Sofie, Danae Black, Miriana Duran, Irene Njuguna


Jill Neary (Research Coordinator), Dr. Anjuli Wagner (Postdoctoral Researcher and Global WACh’s HIV and Co-Infections Through the Lifecycle Co-Director), Dr. Cyrus Mugo (Kenyatta National Hospital) and Dr. Irene Njuguna (PhD Candidate, Epidemiology; Kenyatta National Hospital) presented results from an ongoing study to determine whether financial incentives encouraged HIV-positive caregivers to test their children from HIV and shorten the time to test.  By overcoming cost barriers to complete testing, the team saw an increased uptake in pediatric testing and faster time to testing with increasing incentive cost values.  Their poster was featured at the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics.


Dr. Kate Wilson (Clinical Assistant Professor, Global Health) gave an oral presentation at the International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics and presented a poster at IAS Conference on HIV Science about targeted treatment approaches and improved viral load monitoring that is necessary to achieve 95% viral suppression among HIV-positive adolescents and young adults in Africa.  View the abstract and poster here.


Dr. Brandon Guthrie (Assistant Professor, Global Health; Global WACh Leadership Development Director) and Dr. Carey Farquhar (Professor, Global Health) presented on evaluating assisted partner services (APS) among people who inject drugs to help identify undiagnosed HIV statuses and promote engagement in HIV care. The study team recruited participants from needle and syringe programs throughout Nairobi, Kenya and confidentially received contact information of sexual partners in the past 3 years. Through APS, 434 people were successfully traced and enrolled, of whom 82 (19%) were HIV-infected, 9 (2%) were unaware of their HIV status, and 21 (5%) were not currently on ART.  Read the abstract on the IAS website here.


Dr. Irene Njuguna, Dr. Kristin Beima-Sofie (Acting Assistant Professor, Global Health), and Jill Neary presented a poster on a programmatic analysis on mortality and loss to follow-up care among HIV positive adolescents and young adults in Kenya.  Using electronic medical records from several HIV clinics, the study team found high rates of mortality and loss to care. Finding causes and factors of mortality and low retention of care among youth is important to tailoring targeted interventions to prevent morality. View the abstract and poster here.


Dr. Kristin Beima-Sofie presented a late-breaker oral abstract presentation on healthcare workers’ perceptions of PrEP delivery, which can inform future scale-up strategies. Overall, healthcare workers were enthusiastic about the feasibility, acceptability, and potential sustainability of integrating PrEP services into maternal-child health and family planning clinics because it enabled high coverage, harmonized clinical visits, and lowered stigma compared to PrEP offered through HIV care clinics. Challenges and strategies focused on overcoming provider time and space constraints, and addressing provider and client knowledge. View the abstract here.