The Latest News from VIGH

VIGH researchers to develop an interactive game to improve mental health among youth living with HIV in Nigeria 

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.

Carolyn Audet expands HIV research into South Africa

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigator is hoping to improve access to HIV testing in South Africa, where more than 7 million people are known to have the virus, by training traditional healers to perform the tests. Carolyn Audet, PhD, assistant professor of Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Institute for Global Health, has partnered with Ryan Wagner, PhD, a research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, to develop a novel HIV testing strategy for individuals living in rural communities.

Preventing occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens among rural South African traditional healers

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) and collaborators at the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa have received a new research development grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to compare novel implementation strategies to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition among traditional healers in South Africa.

University students in Nigeria willing to self test for HIV, cross-sectional study

A recent study co-authored by Dr. Muktar Aliyu, M.D., MPH, DrPH, professor of Health Policy and Medicine and associate director for research for VIGH, assessed the willingness of students at Bayero University in Nigeria to self-test for HIV. The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages the use of HIV self-testing, especially in areas such as West and Central Africa where 64% of people living with HIV are unaware of their status.

Team to test app for improving HIV care for new mothers in South Africa

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.