A wide spectrum of STI and HIV-related research has been supported by the Government of Canada through its Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC); the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH); the World Health Organization; the Rockefeller Foundation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. Some of the ground-breaking achievements of the research team include:
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
The team pioneered the “syndromic approach” to STI management which has led to a 25-40 percent decrease in STIs in the general population, and this approach has been disseminated to countries such as Uganda, Cambodia, Thailand and India.
Male circumcision is an effective prevention of the HIV virus acquisition in men. The team’s work over 20 years culminated in a major randomized clinical trial conducted in Kenya, led by the University of Manitoba, the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Nairobi which showed that male circumcision confers a 60% reduction in risk for acquiring HIV infection among men. The results were published in 2007, and Time magazine identified “male circumcision to prevent HIV” as the most important medical breakthroughs of the year. As a result, male circumcision has been endorsed as an important HIV prevention measure by UNAIDS and WHO, and programs to expand male circumcision services have been developed throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.
HIV resistance for highly HIV-exposed female sex workers
The identification of highly HIV-exposed FSWs who are resistant to HIV infection and the subsequent understanding of acquired immunity to HIV. Perhaps the most widely known scientific contribution from the research team has been the discovery that a proportion of female sex workers are resistant to HIV infection