In the last week of June 2016, fifteen scientists converged on Stellenbosch for a week-long intensive workshop, hosted by SACEMA, aimed at sharing their knowledge of the problems and prospects associated with modelling the population dynamics of tsetse flies (Glossina spp) and the trypanosomes that they transmit in Africa to game animals, domestic livestock and humans.
The annual ‘Research Days’ meeting in Stellenbosch, to which all SACEMA funded students and their supervisors are invited, was this year extended to a four day training and research event and took place from 11 to 14 April 2016.
SACEMA hosted its ‘Annual Research Days’ meeting in Stellenbosch on 24 and 25 March 2015 showcasing the research conducted by SACEMA funded postgraduate students. The Research Days have become a hallmark of the postgraduate development undertaken by SACEMA and serves to integrate the multitude of individual projects into the wider research aims of SACEMA.
The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) is one of the biggest events on the HIV related calendar. One of the hot topics was ‘Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis’ (PrEP). However, questions remain about how this strategy, which provides antiretroviral treatment to HIV negative people – really fits into a world in which the majority of HIV infected persons lack access to treatment. Some other highlights of CROI are also discussed. Although HIV/AIDS dominates the agenda in local epidemiology, SACEMA is not an HIV research organization, and we are pleased to present three articles on very different topics: perioperative cardiovascular disease; a methodological perspective involving carcass surveillance; and an item on how medical research can fail so impressively. We trust you will find something of interest in this edition.
The central theme of this SACEMA Quarterly is the HIV/TB co-epidemic. From 1-4 June 2010 the 2nd TB conference was held in Durban, in which most of the presentations discussed TB in relation to HIV. A SACEMA affiliate presented a study concluding that intensified HIV testing and early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for women and men aged 25-40 would optimise the cost-effectiveness of applying the test-and-treat strategy in South Africa, as this would have the largest impact on TB as well. One of the main articles in this Quarterly discusses whether ART will help, and to what extend, in lowering TB incidence. Other articles focus on meaningful statistical modelling in public health, and the Zibambele programme (job creation and poverty alleviation) and it’s role in the battle against HIV/AIDS and TB. Finally, the new director of SACEMA is announced: Dr. Alex Welte.
This article reports on the 4th South African AIDS Conference held recently in Durban, emphasising SACEMA’s involvement and contribution to the ongoing efforts to understand and break the cycle of new HIV infections.
Dr. Alex Welte, visiting research fellow at SACEMA, attended the XVI Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in February this year in Canada and presents you the highlights. South and Southern Africa were well represented. James McIntyre and Glenda Gray held the address on the openings day on responding to the HIV Epidemic in Soweto. Read More