Sakala is studying the phenotypic and functional characterisation of HIV infected CD4 cell subsets in lymph node tissues of ART suppressed patients. HIV/AIDS continues to be one of the leading causes of mortality in Africa despite the advent of antiretroviral treatment. ARVs when used consistently manage to supress viral load to undetectable levels. However, it does not eradicate the persistent viral reservoir. In most cases viral titres rebound rapidly upon treatment interruption. The lymph node is a major area of viral persistence in people on continuous antiretroviral treatment. It has recently been shown that long-term viral reservoirs may be confined to certain subpopulations of CD4 T cells with specific functional and developmental characteristics that HIV-1 can selectively exploit to propagate long-term viral survival within the host. The study seeks to understand these mechanisms and hope to contribute to the process that will lead to HIV vaccine development or indeed cure. Sakala has further interests to contribute to the applications of immunological therapy in infectious and non-infectious diseases.