SANTHE BHP trainee presents in Paris

Tuesday, 1 August, 2017

The 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) was held between the 23rd and 26th of July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France. Over 6000 delegates attended over 1000 presentations, one of these being a poster presentation by Tshepiso Mbangiwa, SANTHE Mphil trainee from the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP). On the 24th of July, she presented her poster entitled, “Hepatitis B virus in HIV-1 negative and positive pregnant women in Botswana, implications for HBV vertical transmission.” 

“This session was helpful in that I got relevant advice on the direction of the work and possible areas to explore,” she said. “The sessions I attended during the conference were related to obstetrics and paediatrics in the context of HIV, HBV and many other infectious diseases. My focus was on the effect of certain HIV treatments on the immune responses of children who are HIV exposed uninfected (HEU), and the effect of the newly rolled out dolutegravir (DTG) on pregnancy outcomes. Several studies have shown that DTG is relatively safe to use in pregnancy whether in the first, second or third trimester. The safely profiles of DTG are not significantly different from that of Atripla and hence it is recommended for use in pregnancy. One of these studies was presented by Rebecca Zash from work done at BHP while the other study was presented by Vani Vannappagari from the University of North Carolina in the US. Several presentations also showed that HEU infants may be at a three-fold higher risk for neurodevelopmental disorders compared to HIV unexposed uninfected (HUU) infants. One of these presentations was delivered by Helen Cote from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Vancouver, Canada.”