Kelesitse Phiri: Examining Pediatric AIDS in Botswana

Kelesitste Phiri

  Oddly enough, Kelesitse Phiri learned about the enormity of the AIDS epidemic in her native Botswana when she was studying at Bryn Mawr College in suburban Philadelphia. The year was 2000. That June UNAIDS released figures showing that Botswana’s adult HIV prevalence at the end of 1999 was 35.8%, the highest in the world. “At that time, people back home didn’t talk about HIV or that somebody had died…

AIDS Walk Boston

Boston Walk 2008

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…

First Harvard Undergraduates in Botswana

Undergrad student in Botswana 2007

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.

Viewpoints: Max Essex

Max Essex photo by dave Cliff

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.

Research & Interventions

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.

Max Essex

Max Essex is the Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard University, Chair of the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI), and Chair of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP).