Most staff members at the Harvard AIDS Initiative could tell you that 24% of the adult population in Botswana is HIV-positive. Yet most couldn’t tell you how many people in Massachusetts, with a population of 6.4 million, are living with HIV/AIDS. The answer, according to 2007 statistics, is 16,866.
To acknowledge that AIDS is a local, as well as an international problem, a dozen staff members took part in the Boston AIDS Walk on June 1. Though many of us work at HAI because we believe that our research and programs are of great importance in helping to fight and eventually end the AIDS epidemic, there are days when these goals get lost in the day-to-day aggravations of the work place.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, as we joined the group of 20,000 walkers, we were reminded that the epidemic is here, as well as there. Family, friends, children in strollers and a couple of dogs rounded out the HAI group. It was a joyful experience—one that gave meaning to Monday’s work.
One of HAI’s youngest walkers, Niki Farahani, wrote a pictoral essay on the experience. Check it out here (PDF).
This spring, three adventurous young women were the first Harvard undergraduates to study abroad in Botswana. The three biology majors lived on the campus of the University of Botswana and took classes there. The greater part of their education took place at the Botswana-Harvard Reference Laboratory. Continue reading
Dr. Max Essex is Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative (HAI), the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, and Chair of the Botswana-Harvard Partnership for HIV Research and Education (BHP). As the BHP celebrates its 10th anniversary, Martha Henry, Editor of Spotlight, asked Dr. Essex to reflect on past accomplishments and future goals of the BHP. Continue reading
Maybe it all started with Deeda Blair, an early (and constant) supporter of the Harvard AIDS Institute. She introduced Max Essex, Chair of HAI, to Maurice Tempelsman in the 1980s. Continue reading
The Conference on AIDS Action and Botswana: Lessons in Capacity Building and Importance of Research took place in Gaborone, Botswana in late January. Continue reading
Using Nevirapine More Effectively
A study published in the January 11th issue of found that for mothers given a single dose of nevirapine during labor to reduce the chance of HIV transmission to their children, waiting six months after birth before taking a nevirapine-based antiretroviral treatment dramatically reduced their chances of developing resistance to nevirapine. Continue reading