Global WACh

April 9, 2021

New grant award supports a tuberculosis and HIV co-infections training program in Kenya

A collaborative team leading a new TB and HIV training program in Kenya includes Thomas Hawn, Elizabeth Obimbo, Videlis Nduba, David Horne, Sylvia LaCourse, and Ksenia Koon

Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are two deadly infectious diseases causing complex, intertwined epidemics.  TB is especially life-threatening to people living with HIV who have weakened immune systems.  Treating TB and HIV simultaneously is possible with services that have traditionally treated one illness over the other.  The integration of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment programs can reduce the impact of the HIV epidemic on TB incidence and the burden of TB in HIV-infected individuals.

Despite progress in collaborative TB/HIV activities, there is still an urgent need for the research and development of new tools and strategies to accelerate progress towards TB and HIV elimination.

Faculty in the UW Department of Medicine Divisions of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AID) and Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (PCCS) and the Department of Global Health (DGH) recently received a National Institute of Health D43 grant entitled, “Tuberculosis & HIV Co-Infection Training Program in Kenya (TBHTP),” that proposes a new training program in TB-HIV co-infection research.

This program is led by multiple Principal Investigators, Drs. Tom Hawn (AID, DGH), Elizabeth Obimbo (University of Nairobi, DGH), and Videlis Nduba (Kenya Medical Research Institute), along with Assistant Directors Dr. David Horne (PCCS, DGH) and Dr. Sylvia LaCourse (AID, DGH) and administrative leadership by Ksenia Koon (AID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).  Dr. LaCourse is Global WACh’s HIV and Co-Infections Through the Lifecycle Scientific Priority Co-Director and brings expertise on methods to improve TB screening and prevention in HIV-infected peripartum women and their children.

The TBHTP seeks to enhance training and local capacity building of the next generation of leaders in Kenya who will discover novel research and public health strategies to combat the dual TB-HIV epidemic. The TBHTP is led by members of the TB Research and Training Center (TRTC) and the Kenya TB Research and Training Program.