Current Issue

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Answering important questions often necessitates the creation of new tools and systems. Because they work at the forefront of AIDS research, HAI scientists must invent and adapt and repurpose on a daily basis. This issue of Spotlight delves into the infrastructure behind the studies, as well as notable findings from the Botswana Combination Prevention Project.

From left: Lyorlumun Uhaa, UNICEF; Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS; Max Essex, Harvard AIDS Initiative; Pride Chigwedere, UNAIDS, at a meeting for African Leaders in Addis Ababa. Photo by Aida MulunehBotswana Leads in HIV Treatment

Billions of dollars are spent every year on HIV/AIDS treatment programs. But how well are they working?
In the African country of Botswana, where 25% of adults (aged 16-49) are HIV positive, the answer is extremely well.

The Blood in the Freezer

One tiny vial of blood contains a remarkable amount of genetic information about both the person from whom it was drawn and infectious agents like HIV circulating at the time of the needle prick. Because HIV mutates so quickly, having access to lots of samples to study is a valuable resource.

Erik van WidenfeltAfter the Capture
The Care and Treatment of Data

Science depends on data. A large clinical trial like the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP) depends on lots of data. When the multi-year trial in 30 Botswana villages concludes, researchers hope their data will provide a better understanding of how to prevent HIV infections.

Erik van WidenfeltErik van Widenfelt 

When he first arrived in Botswana, Erik wasn’t an IT guy. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in cellular and molecular biology, he joined the Peace Corps in 1986 and taught science and English in Ghanzi, a dusty outpost on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. When his two-year assignment was up, he stayed on.

Max EssexEssex Stresses Infectious Diseases to New Grads 

Max Essex gave the keynote address to the graduating class of 60 physicians at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine on Friday, May 6, 2016 in Huntington, West Virginia. Essex, the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard, is a noted AIDS researcher and Chair of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative.

A Field Guide to Drones for Global Health: The Good, the Bad, the Unknown 

I saw my first drone in action this January. I was walking on the sidewalk and there it was, 50 feet above me, a small black dot in the sky. The sound was somewhere between a couple of bees and a motorbike.

Sikhulile MoyoSikhulile Moyo 

A native of Zimbabwe, Sikhulile Moyo moved to Botswana after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare in 1996. He started working at the Botswana Harvard Partnership as a Lab Assistant in 2003 and was promoted to Laboratory Coordinator, then Deputy Lab Manager, then to his current position as Lab Manager.

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