SANTHE Programme Director, Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, is also a leader of an acute HIV infection cohort run by Females Rising through Education, Support and Health (FRESH) - a community-based programme reaching out to those at risk from HIV in an attempt to develop a vaccine. “It is an innovative attempt to combine a basic science research programme with a socioeconomic empowerment programme,” he says. The programme enrols local women who are HIV negative and after each self empowerment class, receives their blood samples which are promptly tested for recent HIV infection. If the results are positive, they start antiretroviral therapy and, in turn, provide further samples for the study.
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