Last Updated
Friday 03 July 2015, 18:03 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 Mon 06 Jul 2015, 09:15 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: Friday, 03 Jul 2015
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.9404
1 GBP = Pula   15.5280
1 EUR = Pula   11.0254
1 YEN = Pula   0.0808
1 ZAR = Pula   0.8093
1 Pula = USD   0.1006
1 Pula = GBP   0.0644
1 Pula = EUR   0.0907
1 Pula = YEN   12.38
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2356
Stock Exchange
STOCK EXCHANGE: Friday, 03 Jul 2015
DOMESTIC STOCKS
BARCLAYS
427
BIHL
1390
CHOBE
568
CHOPPIES
482
CRESTA
95
ENGEN
820
FNBB
393
FSG
255
FURNMART
163
G4S
350
LETLOLE
221
LETSHEGO
320
NAP
239
OLYMPIA
20
PRIMETIME
281
RDCP
230
SECHABA
2850
SEFALANA
1203
STANCHART
1267
TURNSTAR
261
WIL
465
IMARA
274
  • Previous
    Terminator Genisys Poster
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 03 Jul - Thursday 09 Jul :::
    Terminator Genisys
    Magic Mike XXL
    San Andreas
    Ted 2
    Jurassic World
  • Previous
    Terminator Genisys Poster
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 03 Jul - Thursday 09 Jul :::
    Terminator Genisys
    Ted 2
    San Andreas
    Inside Out
  • Previous
    Magic Mike XXL Poster
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 03 Jul - Thursday 09 Jul :::
    Magic Mike XXL
    Terminator Genisys
    San Andreas
    Ted 2
    Inside Out
    Jurassic World
Selefu
FIFA