HIV & AIDS

HIV, with an estimated 1,2 million infected persons in 2012 in Kenya, affects all segments of society. Transmission has been studied among people at higher risk of infection, including sex workers, and men who have sex with men, and among pregnant women, who may pass HIV to their babies, if untreated. It is estimated that up to 50% of new HIV infections in Kenya derive from people who just got HIV themselves. Hence, our focus has been on diagnosing adult patients with acute HIV infection, of whom the majority seeks urgent health care for symptoms, but test negative by routinely used rapid diagnostics tests. Studies are taken place of improved drug regimens, and adherence support to take life-long drugs. It has been established that transmitted drug resistance among people taking drugs in Kilifi County hospital is very low.

In the laboratory research focus has been on understanding B cell biology in HIV infection, specifically describing phenotypes, function and potential mechanism by which viral antigens affect this compartment. A new research area will focus on the understanding of the T-and B-cell compartment of patients who just got HIV as this may impact on the development of effective antibody inducing vaccines. We also conduct randomised controlled trials of new therapies for HIVH in the Comprehensive Care and Research Clinic in Kilifi. We are currently participating in the REALITY trial (LINK: http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN43622374 ).

Investigators : Investigators: Amin Hassan, Eunice Nduati, Eduard Sanders, Jay Berkley, Kath Maitland