The Research Unit published two scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals in the field of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and tuberculosis (TB) as their core focus areas of research. Prof Remco Peters wrote about the interactions of antiretroviral therapy (ART) at time of conception in HIV-infected individuals, STIs and the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes (https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa1669/5944071?redirectedFrom=fulltext), highlighting the importance of addressing the burden of STIs in pregnant women in South Africa. Dana Bresenham published a manuscript about the effect of stigma on tuberculosis testing and follow-up and the importance to develop interventions to reduce stigma associated with tuberculosis in the community (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7579945/pdf/40249_2020_Article_762.pdf). This important topic is taken forward in to a new large research project that will commence early 2021.
An opinion piece was published by Prof Remco Peters in The Conversation discussing the potential threat of drug-resistant gonorrhoea in South Africa (https://theconversation.com/drug-resistant-gonorrhoea-is-a-growing-threat-a-south-african-case-study-148012). Antimicrobial resistance, in particular related to STIs, is an important field of research in the Unit.
In follow-up of the current community-based implementation study of PrEP to prevent HIV in adolescent girls in the Buffalo City Metro, the clinical trials team of the Research Unit was invited to be part of a study of novel PrEP medication for women at high-risk of HIV infection in South Africa. This constitutes an important milestone for the Research Unit and the team is working hard to prepare for it in the coming months.
FPD’s Epidemiology and Research Department was established in 2014, and is tasked with applying rigorous, epidemiologic methods to study, advance, and inform public health programmes and policy development.
Investigating the acceptability, feasibility and outcomes of home-based TB testing of household contacts using a new, mobile point of care technology.
NIH Grant number: 1R21EB 023679-01
Pilot Study of Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening for Prevention of Mother-to-ChildTransmission of HIV.
NIH Grant number: 1R21HD084274-01A1
A randomized study evaluating an intervention integrating economic strengthening and HIV prevention programs for vulnerable youth in South Africa.
USAID Grant number: AID-OAA-LA-13-00001