Last Updated
Wednesday 01 April 2015, 18:00 pm.
Botswana-Harvard study commences

The Botswana- Harvard Partnership (BHP) will commence a study to establish if Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) can reduce sexual transmission of HIV in discordant couples, where one partner is infected with the virus and the other is not.
By Staff Writer Thu 02 Apr 2015, 09:44 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana-Harvard study commences








Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Priti Dusara, the coordinator of the study which will be called 'Thibelo study', said that anti-retroviral drugs have been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality of HIV infections through sustained reduction in HIV replication consequent upon HIV viral suppression.  She said the drugs decrease the HIV viral load in the blood as well as the concentration of HIV in male and female genital secretions thereby reducing the levels of HIV in the genital secretion to which the susceptible partner is exposed.

Dusara further stated that other retrospective clinical studies have shown significant reduction in HIV transmission where ART was used. "This was corroborated by mathematical models which have concluded that ART could decrease  HIV transmission," she said.

The project coordinator said that the Thibelo study was undertaken as part of a multi-site effort to enrol 1,750 sero-discordant couples under the auspices of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HTPN) in nine countries.

Durasa said that HIV infected individuals with CD4 cell counts of 350-550 who have not taken ART, and their HIV uninfected partners, will be enrolled.

"However mothers who once enrolled for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and meet the enrolment criteria will be considered," she said. She pointed out that discordant couples are among the largest risk groups for HIV infection in Africa where the main route of HIV transmission is heterosexual intercourse. Durasa asserted that the  incidence of HIV amongst the 20-50 year group averages 5.5 percent while overall incidence in all age groups is 2.89 percent.

She stated that incidence amongst those who are married and those who are living together as a group is at 8.4 percent, the highest compared to those who are not married, separated, divorced or widowed as according to the Botswana HIV/AIDS Impact Survey III.

Thibelo Study aims at enrolling 120 couples of the 1,750 couples that are to be enrolled overall within the HTPN from nine countries. According to BHP, couples that join the Thibelo Study would be expected to be in the study for the entire 60 months of the study.

"BHP considers Thibelo Study an important study as incidences amongst couples remain very high," she said.  Durasa pointed out they will encourage couples to come together for counselling and testing.  She explained that this is premised on findings that it is easier for couples to learn of their status together.

"Furthermore, many couples who are in stable relationships remain most vulnerable, and presenting together as a couple for HIV counselling and testing will offer couples the skills to prevent infection of the uninfected partner," she said.

Partners wishing to enrol in the study have been requested to visit the BHP offices near Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone. The Division of AIDS, National Institute of Health in the Unites States of America, sponsors the study.



Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Thursday, 02 Apr 2015
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.8619
1 GBP = Pula   14.6628
1 EUR = Pula   10.6724
1 YEN = Pula   0.0826
1 ZAR = Pula   0.8256
1 Pula = USD   0.1014
1 Pula = GBP   0.0682
1 Pula = EUR   0.0937
1 Pula = YEN   12.11
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2113
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015
DOMESTIC STOCKS
BARCLAYS
400
BIHL
1225
CHOBE
458
CHOPPIES
397
CRESTA
94
ENGEN
934
FNBB
375
FSG
245
FURNMART
208
G4S
337
LETLOLE
228
LETSHEGO
243
NAP
217
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
271
RDCP
221
SECHABA
2870
SEFALANA
1140
STANCHART
1250
TURNSTAR
219
WIL
325
IMARA
300
  • Previous
    Top Five Poster
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 27 Mar - Thursday 02 Apr :::
    Top Five
    Home
    Danny Collins
    Insurgent
    Focus
    Selma
  • Previous
    Home Poster
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 27 Mar - Thursday 02 Apr :::
    Home
    Top Five
    Insurgent
    Focus
  • Previous
    Home Poster
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 27 Mar - Thursday 02 Apr :::
    Home
    Top Five
    Insurgent
    Focus
    Kingsman: The Secret Service