February 2015

EGPAF Presents at the Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

Created by:

Alex Angel



The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) will be held in Seattle, Washington from February 23 to 25, 2015. This conference brings together, annually, the greatest minds in the field of HIV/AIDS research and related opportunistic infections, to share innovations towards a cure for AIDS and groundbreaking news in effective HIV prevention, care and treatment strategies.*

CROI is an important opportunity for EGPAF to learn about clinical research innovations, to inform our own programs. The event is also an important opportunity for EGPAF to present our understanding of the disease and prevention, care and treatment opportunities and innovations we have witnessed in our over 25 years of experience.

EGPAF has been accepted to present findings from an on-going study funded by U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) known as the Kigali Antiretroviral and Breastfeeding Assessment for the Elimination of HIV study (the Kabeho Study) at this year’s CROI.

The Kabeho Study aims to examine survival rates among a large cohort of children born to HIV-positive women who are enrolled in Rwanda’s prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) program (which is aligned with WHO 2013 recommendations to administer lifelong ART to all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women). Through collaboration with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, the Rwanda Biomedical Center, and the School of Public Health at the University of Rwanda, EGPAF has enrolled over 600 women into the Kabeho Study.

The study update presented at CROI, the abstract for which is entitled “Maternal Viral Load in the Context of PMTCT B+ Within the Kabeho Study in Kigali”, delves into the current status of HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women and their engagement in the treatment program. The update will feature data on demographics of the 600 enrollees, most used treatment regimens, adherence to the treatment and also side effects related to those regimens. This update will give the international community an update on women’s health outcomes from this relatively new PMTCT regimen. 

“My co-authors and I are glad to have our enrollment visit results presented at CROI so that our colleagues in the scientific community have the opportunity to provide feedback and to learn more about the Kabeho Study, “ says Emily Bobrow, PhD. a Senior Research Officer at EGPAF and one of the Principle Investigators of the Kabeho Study.

The Kabeho Study will give all partners in the fight against AIDS important data on the status of women throughout the PMTCT cascade and it will eventually give us critical information on how close we are coming to eliminating pediatric HIV. EGPAF is proud to be participating in this year’s CROI to present this important work and to learn from the innovations of others in this field.

CROI delegates are invited to visit EGPAF’s presentation:

  • Session Title: How Fast? How Often? Achieving Viral Suppression in Pregnant and Postpartum Women, Keys to the Kingdom: Viral Suppression in Pregnant and Postpartum Women
  • Session Date: February 24, 2015, February 26, 2015
  • Session Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
  • Session Location: Poster Hall, Room 6D

*It was at this venue, two years ago, that Deborah Persaud, Professor of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins University, and previous awardee of an Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation research grant, presented on an HIV-positive child functionally cured of HIV, who remained off treatment for two years with an undetectable viral load.  For more about this child, the reoccurence of her infection and how this study has affected our body of knowledge on this area of work, please read our press release.