Global WACh


March 6, 2024

New study aims to promote perinatal mental health screening and reduce the burden of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Kenya

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Multiple Principal Investigators Drs. John Kinuthia, Amritha Bhat, and Keshet Ronen

Pregnancy and the birth of a child is an exciting and celebratory time for many families. However, for many women and their families, it can be a difficult time if the mother is experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. These feelings may get better or go away with time, but if they don’t, it is critical to access care to prevent worsening symptoms and recover. Without appropriate intervention, these feelings can have long term adverse implications for the mental, physical, and emotional health of women, children, and their families. (more…)

May 24, 2023

ATTACH investigators visit the Uganda Ministry of Health to strengthen adolescent HIV care model

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The ATTACH and Uganda Ministry of Health Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Care and Treatment teams. Credit: Irene Njuguna

This month, investigators of the Adolescent Transition to Adult Care for Adolescents Living with HIV (ATTACH) study, including Global WACh researchers Drs. Kristin Beima-Sofie, Dalton Wamalwa, Cyrus Mugo, Caren Mburu and Irene Njuguna, met the Uganda Ministry of Health’s Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Care and Treatment Team, led by Dr. Eleanor Namusoke-Magongo. During the visit, the ATTACH team interacted with peer youth leaders and learned about the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Peer Support (YAPS) Program, a model where youth can receive health education and intensive adherence counselling and support from fellow peers. (more…)

May 23, 2023

New grant explores biological pathways associated with growth outcomes in HIV-exposed uninfected infants for future interventions

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(Top row) Drs. David Taylor Hendrixson and Christine McGrath.
(Bottom row) Drs. Grace John-Stewart and Benson Singa.

Dr. David Taylor Hendrixson, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics – Divisions of Neonatology and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, received a two-year Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Research Awards supported by the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute, Diabetes Research Center, and Nutrition and Obesity Research Center. The project is in collaboration with Drs. Christine McGrath and Grace John-Stewart (UW Department of Global Health), Dr. Benson Singa (UW-KEMRI), and the UW Northwest Metabolomics Research Center. (more…)

May 19, 2023

Predoctoral researcher Tessa Concepcion receives award to support integration of long-acting PrEP methods into antenatal care in Kenya

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Tessa Concepcion, a second-year PhD student in the Global Health Implementation Science Program, recently received a National Institutes of Health grant to fund her predoctoral research with Global WACh at UW and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Kenya.

The three-year grant titled, “Planning for delivery of novel PrEP formulations to pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya,” leverages the ongoing mWACh-PrEP randomized trial (MPIs: John Kinuthia, KNH and Jillian Pintye, UW)—a SMS-based support intervention to enhance PrEP adherence during pregnancy through the postpartum period—to identify pregnant and postpartum women’s preferences for novel PrEP agents and identify early process indicators for implementing these options in MCH systems. This proposal was guided by the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation and Sustainment (EPIS) framework to answer questions related to implementation of LA-PrEP for pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya. (more…)

March 31, 2023

Sikiliza Mama study centers patients’ needs to inform perinatal mental health services

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Sikiliza Mama study team members from left to right: Ben Ochieng, Joan Mutahi, Helen Moraa, Winnie Atieno, Anna Larsen

The Sikiliza Mama (Kiswahili for “Listen to Mama”) study, funded by a UW Behavioral Research Center for HIV (BIRCH) Community Centered Pilot AIDS Research Center (C-PARC) award, recently initiated qualitative data collection.  The team is using a human-centered design approach to conduct in-depth interviews among perinatal women with likely depression and/or anxiety to evaluate acceptability of existing formal and informal mental health services. The findings can help inform patient-centered perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) services for women at risk for HIV and women living with HIV and result in better maternal and infant outcomes. (more…)

March 22, 2023

New review of WHO HIV testing guidelines informs effective strategies to increase uptake of testing services

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A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in PLOS Medicine informed World Health Organization (WHO) 2019 HIV testing guidelines and assessed the research question, “Which demand creation strategies are effective for enhancing uptake of HIV testing services?” focused on populations globally. HIV testing services (HTS) are the first step in reaching the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals for HIV management and control. Evaluating the effectiveness of different demand creation interventions to increase uptake of HTS is useful to prioritize limited programmatic resources.

September 19, 2022

Ashenafi Cherkos accepts faculty position at University of North Texas

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Congratulations to Ashenafi Cherkos, PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Global WACh student trainee, who accepted a tenure track Assistant Professor position in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas. (more…)

August 4, 2022

Laurén Gómez awarded young investigator prizes at the 2022 International AIDS Society Conference

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Laurén Gómez (second to right) stands with other winners selected for the IAS/MSD Prize for Research in HIV Prevention


At the 2022 International AIDS Society Conference, Laurén Gómez, a Research Coordinator with Global WACh, was selected as a winner of the Lange/van Tongeren Prize for Young Investigators (co-partnered with ANRS – France Recherche Nord & Sud Sida-HIV Hépatites) and the Prize for Research in HIV Prevention (co-partnered with MSD – Merck Sharpe & Dohme).

The young investigator awards support early career researchers who demonstrate innovation, originality, rationale and quality in the field of HIV research. The prizes are granted to the top-scoring abstract in each of the five tracks: Track A – Basic and translational research; Track B – Clinical research; Track C – Epidemiology and prevention research; Track D – Social and political research, law, policy and human rights; and Track E – Implementation research, economics, systems and synergies with other health and development sectors. The Prize for Research in HIV Prevention is given to the top-scoring abstracts with a focus on prevention research that addresses critical knowledge gaps and links new evidence to program priorities in the response to the HIV pandemic. Laurén received both awards for the Track C abstract titled, “Association of prenatal PrEP exposure with neurodevelopmental and growth outcomes beyond 24 months among Kenyan children.” (more…)

Researchers present latest scientific evidence at Pediatric HIV Workshop and AIDS 2022

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This month, Global WACh researchers attended the 24th International AIDS Society Conference (AIDS 2022) held virtually and in-person in Montreal, Canada.  This year’s theme was “Re-engage and Follow the Science” — a call to convene scientists, policymakers, and activists to define future research agendas, shift the latest evidence to action, and chart a new consensus on overcoming the HIV epidemic as a threat to public health and individual well-being.  Researchers also attended the hybrid 14th International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics, a pre-conference event devoted to research in the prevention and treatment of HIV infections in infants, children, and adolescents.

Our researchers presented 12 poster abstracts and one oral presentation featuring the latest evidence from their studies, in relation to long-acting HIV treatment and prevention technologies, integrated and differentiated models of care, and monitoring and innovations in service delivery.  Laurén Gómez, a Research Coordinator at UW, was selected as a winner of the Lange/van Tongeren Prize for Young Investigators (co-partnered with ANRS – France Recherche Nord & Sud Sida-HIV Hépatites) and the Prize for Research in HIV Prevention (co-partnered with MSD – Merck Sharpe & Dohme). Learn more about Laurén’s analysis that aimed to address safety gaps in the impacts of prenatal pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on growth and development in early childhood. See a list of accepted abstracts for both scientific gatherings below.


March 29, 2022

New publication on implementation of HIV retesting guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya

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The February 2022 edition of Global Health: Science and Practice features a new publication by UW Global WACh students, Monalisa Penumetsa (DGH MPH alumni) and Epidemiology PhD student Jillian Neary, and faculty (Drs. Alison Drake and Grace John-Stewart)– “Implementation of HIV Retesting During Pregnancy and Postpartum in Kenya: A Cross Sectional Study.” The study aimed to measure the prevalence of maternal HIV retesting in Kenya, and HIV incidence among Kenyan mothers. (more…)

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