This summer the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new flagship initiative, the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity, or AIM-AHEAD.
Principal Investigator(s): Martin Were, M.D., M.S. David Wright, Ph.D.
PI: Martin C. Were, M.D., M.S.
South Africa has more HIV/AIDS patients than any other country and is home to the world’s largest antiretroviral program. According to the World Bank, as of 2018 the prevalence of HIV among South Africans ages 15 to 49 was 20.4%. Nearly one in three pregnant women attending antenatal care in South Africa is living with HIV. As South Africans with HIV move around the country, there is a risk they will disengage from the health care system or otherwise become lost to follow-up care.
Young people living with HIV (Y-PLWH) have poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy and engagement in HIV care, making HIV the leading cause of death for African adolescents. Depression and psychological distress are much more common among Y-PLWH than in the general population, and are associated with significantly worse adherence to care and treatment when compared to Y-PLWH without these co-morbid conditions. Thus, untreated depression and severe psychological distress are important contributors to poor HIV outcomes in this population.
Project Details: NIH Reporter
The scale-up of global antiretroviral therapy (ART) represents an unparalleled global health success story, leading to impressive overall reductions in HIV-related morbidity and mortality. However, adolescents and young adults (AYA), especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, have largely been left out of this story. While AIDS-related deaths declined by 30% for adults from 2005-2012, they increased by 50% among AYA over the same period, making AIDS the leading cause of death among African youth. AYA living with HIV perform poorly across the entire care continuum.