HIV Disease, Drug Abuse and Nutrient Therapy in Botswana


Principal Investigator:
Richard Marlink, Director; Executive Director of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative

HSPH AIDS Initiatives

Dates of Research:
September 15, 2003 — June 30, 2010


The country of Botswana, Africa, has the highest rates of HIV infection in the world. Moreover, an emerging drug abuse problem in this part of the world may contribute to immune suppression and to the decline of nutritional status, which in turn facilitates HIV disease progression. The overall goal of this project is to determine whether supplementation with multivitamins and selenium can improve immune function and prolong time to AIDS or mortality in HIV infected adults in Botswana. The study seeks to investigate whether the combined or individual use of multivitamins and or selenium is preferable to placebo supplementation. The study will also investigate how drug abuse affects nutritional status and HIV disease progression in HIV infected men and women. By determining the efficacy of nutrient therapy to improve immune function, this project seeks to slow HIV disease progression in Botswana.