Respiratory Diseases/BSI Study

Country/Countries:

Principal Investigator:
Shahin Lockman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Department:
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Dates of Research:
September 11, 2000 — August 31, 2006

Description:

This study examines the approaches to perinatal HIV transmission prevention in Botswana, as well as studies of other aspects of HIV epidemiology and infant infectious disease morbidity and mortality. HIV-1 prevalence in Botswana among women of child-bearing age is 28-43% and greater than 33% of infants born to these women are likely to be infected. A significant percentage of these women may also transmit HIV to their infants via breast milk. Breast feeding is widely practiced throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The critical question that remains unanswered is the difference in rates of overall death and occurrence of infectious diseases among infants of HIV-positive mothers who are breast-fed while receiving prophylactic antiretrovirals versus those who are formula fed. The study seeks to answer this question as well as the cause of acute respiratory infection in HIV-infected infants and the efficacy of certain drugs administered to pregnant HIV-infected mothers and their infants. This study will be carried out in three towns in southeast Botswana as a collaborative effort between the Harvard AIDS Institute and the AIDS/STD Unit of Botswana. The final result of this study will be a decision analysis evaluating the optimal infant feeding strategy in Botswana and in similar settings with HIV prevalence and relatively high infant mortality rate from other infectious diseases.