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?
From: Scott Dryden-Peterson
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015
Subject: BCPP milestone
Today we completed mapping of the last study community. In one of the many remarkable behind-the-scenes contributions that has made a project of this scale possible, during nights and weekends over the past 18 months, Oaitse (cc’d here) single-handedly identified and labeled ~73,700 households from Ranaka to Shakawe. We are indebted to you, Oaitse.
(Eton spent a gap year working with HAI in Boston and Botswana. He’s now a freshman at Harvard. This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Harvard Science Review.)
The target is 2030. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has ambitiously set 2030 as the year by which we should achieve the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has claimed the lives of 39 million people globally since the first cases were reported in 1981.1 This past year, to help drive united progress and accountability towards the goal, UNAIDS articulated the 90-90-90 targets. If these goals are reached by 2020, UNAIDS predicts, then the AIDS epidemic could come to an end by 2030:
Goal 1: “By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.”
Goal 2: “By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.”
Goal 3: “By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.”2
Growing up, Kathleen Wirth knew she wanted to see the world outside of her small hometown of Irmo, South Carolina. She felt she didn’t quite fit in. Her mother’s family had fled from Cuba in 1960. Her grandfather, who’d been a respected doctor in Havana, worked as a hospital janitor until he could qualify to practice medicine in America. Though she got into minor trouble, it wasn’t enough to keep Kathleen from becoming her high school valedictorian. A scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill was her ticket out of Irmo.
“We strongly believe that with this project we have the chance to make history in the fight against AIDS,” said Michelle Gavin, U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, at the November 8th press conference in Gaborone announcing the launch of the Botswana Combination Prevention Project. Continue reading →
trtransmissionMartha Henry, Editor of Spotlight, asked Dr. DeGruttola about the Botswana Combination Prevention Project.
Dr. Victor DeGruttola, Chair of the Dept. of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP). The BCPP is a large clinical trial that combines available HIV prevention methods to try to control HIV at a community level. Continue reading →