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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2018 Jornadas Nacionais de Saúde (National Health Days) scientific conference was held in Maputo, Mozambique from September 17 through 20, 2018. This conference occurs every three years, and is a gathering of clinicians, researchers and scientists, academics, and policymakers operating in the national health system of Mozambique. The scientific program included oral and poster presentations on a range of health-related issues specific to Mozambique. The theme for this year was “Promoting Intersectional and Community Participation to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals.”