MSM Research Study:-

HIV risk in Kenyan men who have sex with men: Biological determinants of acquisition at the rectal mucosa

This study aims at understanding the contribution of the microbial and immune environment and how this might impact HIV acquisition risk.

Exposure to viruses often occurs at a Mucosa (the interface between the body and external environment.) For sexual HIV transmission, relevant mucosa includes the penis, vagina, and rectum. The integrity of this barrier is likely an important factor that prevents/allows HIV infection to occur.. These data could have important implications for improving rectal health to achieve better HIV prevention in this marginalized key population with a high HIV burden.

Principal Investigator:- Lyle Mackinnon-University of Manitoba

FSW Research Study:-

Chemokine regulation, vaginal microbiota, and the risk of HIV infection

This study aims at determining aspects of the immune system and the microbes that live at that barrier (termed the “microbiome”) and predict which women were at higher risk for HIV infection.

In women, the immune system forms an important barrier in the vagina which often prevents HIV from gaining entry to the body. At this barrier occur many important interactions between the immune system and a variety of microbes, many of which are helpful but a small proportion of which can weaken the effectiveness of that barrier.

Principal Investigator:- Lyle Mackinnon-University of Manitoba

A Research Study HIV transmission amongst the Key Populations in Nairobi

The molecular, network, and geographical epidemiology of HIV transmission within and between key populations in Nairobi, Kenya.

With the HIV epidemic on the decline stage in Kenya, it becomes crucially important to understand precisely how transmission between key populations is linked, both from the perspective of eliminating HIV as it becomes ever more concentrated and in order to be nimble enough to design interventions that may be tailored to future potential avenues of infection.

Combining molecular techniques with social network techniques, this study proposal seeks to understand HIV transmission within, and between, male and female sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya. A crucial part of the proposal is qualitative work to understand the sexual and social mixing of M/FSWs, as understanding the context around mixing helps us better tailor any potential interventions.

Principal Investigator: – Lyle Mackinnon-University of Manitoba

Research Studies in immunology-HIV infected persons

PHDA is working on a University of Manitoba immunological study to determine the immunological phenotype and genetic expression of CD4+ T-cells in individuals who are resistant to HIV infection or those who are infected but able to control their viral replication. The study will try to determine if this immune quiescence phenotype can be replicated in susceptible women by the uptake of aspirin.

Principal Investigator-Keith Fowke-University of Manitoba