Spotlight Summer 2017

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The Interconnected Issue

Like it or not, we’re all connected. While officials debate whether to strengthen treaties or build walls, infectious diseases easily cross every border. This issue of Spotlight includes a story about how genetics help us understand the way HIV moves within a community, a story about how migrants may influence HIV prevention efforts, and another on how budget cuts could imperil our response to the next pandemic. Plus a profile of the new BHP Lab Director.

Fogarty Under Threat

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget calls for eliminating the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Last year, just $69 million of the NIH’s $31 billion budget was allocated to Fogarty.

Darwin's Tree of Life
Phylogenetic Viral Linkage
A Tool for Evaluating HIV Prevention Efforts

Major HIV prevention trials are underway in African countries, including Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. These trials involve hundreds of thousands of people and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But how will we know if they work?

Simani Gaseitsiwe
Dr. Simani Gaseitsiwe Becomes
BHP Lab Director

If a boy from a Botswana village wins second place in the national science fair for a project on optimizing alcoholic brews, predictions about his future could involve his getting into trouble, or working for a large beer company, or, if you’re Dr. Simani Gaseitsiwe, becoming the director of one of Africa’s top research labs.

People waiting for the Ferry to Botswana in Kazungula
Are Migrants Driving the Epidemic?

When “Treatment as Prevention” was named Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year in 2011, there was optimism that we were closing in on AIDS. The multinational HPTN 052 study showed that providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to people with HIV was not only good for their health, but also lowered the levels of HIV in their blood to undetectable levels, making the chance of infecting others extremely unlikely.

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