Category Archives: Fall 2014

Kiwelu’s Successful Defense

Dr. Ireen Kiwelu
Dr. Ireen Kiwelu

Kudos to Dr. Ireen Kiwelu who, on September 24th, successfully defended her PhD thesis, “The molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 among female bar and hotel workers in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.” Her work was supervised by Drs. Max Essex and Vladimir Novitsky at the Harvard AIDS Initiative. Born in Moshi, Tanzania, at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kiwelu was educated in Tanzania, Denmark, England, and Norway. She returned to her hometown to work as a Senior Research Scientist at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre.

Treating Newborns: Timing Is Everything

©iStock.com/UygarGeographic
©iStock.com/UygarGeographic

By Martha Henry

Should babies infected with HIV in utero be put on anti-HIV drugs immediately after birth? Can very early treatment allow some children to eventually control the virus on their own? HAI researchers are helping to answer those questions.
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HEU Infants: How Big and Bad Is the Problem?

Mother and Child
©iStock.com/MShep2

By Martha Henry

Imagine that you’re a young woman in southern Africa, giving birth to the child you’ve carried for nine months. Between the pain and the pushing, you feel both excitement and dread. At the antenatal clinic several months ago, you learned that you were infected with HIV. The doctor gave you antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to prevent your child from being born with HIV. You pray that they worked.

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Wen Xie Earns PhD

Wen Xie with her thesis committee
Wen Xie (front) with her thesis committee: L to R, Drs. Monty Montano, Tun-Hou Lee, Stephen J. O’Brien, George Seage, Max Essex

Wen Xie, a PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences in Public Health program at the Harvard School of Public Health, successfully presented her dissertation, “Control of HIV-1 Subtype-C replication both in vivo and in vitro,” on August 27th.

Wen was the 2013 recipient of the Essex Fellowship, named in honor of Max Essex and established to support students who work on HIV/AIDS research significant to Africa.

Q&A with Max Essex: Infants and HIV

Max Essex photo Kent Dayton

For over 20 years, the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI) has been conducting research on how best to care for mothers with HIV and their children. Martha Henry, Editor of Spotlight, sat down with Dr. Max Essex, Chair of HAI, to review the progress made and the challenges remaining. Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Ogwu

Anthony Ogwu
Dr. Anthony Ogwu, photo by Dave Clift

It’s hard to write a profile of someone who doesn’t complain, especially when that person encounters innumerable problems on a daily basis and has to solve them quickly and efficiently or important clinical trials will come screeching to a halt. Continue reading