Projects

Mucosal injury from sexual contact (MISC)

Young South African women are at exceptionally high risk of HIV infection. We have previously shown that genital tract inflammation is a key risk factor for HIV acquisition and that young South African women have higher levels of inflammation than older women. The aim of the MISC study is to identify the socio-behavioral and biological causes of inflammation in these young women.

This study is a collaboration between Seattle Children’s Hospital (Principal Investigator: Assistant Prof Heather Jaspan), the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Jo-Ann Passmore), the University of Cape Town and the Burnet Institute (Principal Investigator: Dr Lindi Masson). It is a longitudinal, observational cohort study including 300 adolescent and 100 adult women in two regions in South Africa (Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal).

Each woman is being asked to visit the clinic for a baseline visit, followed by four follow-up visits that are timed around sexual activity. Extensive demographic, sexual behaviour, contraceptive use and vaginal hygiene practice data is being collected. Biological factors that are being investigated include the microbiome, HIV target cell phenotype and activation and inflammatory cytokine profiles in the female reproductive tract.

Timeline

2017–2021

Collaborators

SEATTLE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Assistant Professor Heather Jaspan (Principal Investigator)

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN: Associate Professor Jo-Ann Passmore (Co-Principal Investigator) Mrs Celia Mehou-Loko Sister Noluthando Mqaba Mrs Nina Radzey Mr Rushil Harryparsard Miss Andrea Gillian Abrahams Professor Jonathan Blackburn Dr Leigh Johnson Dr Tracey Adams

DESMOND TUTU HIV CENTRE: Prof Linda-Gail Bekker Mrs Funeka Busakwe Dr Shakeera Arnolds Dr Nadia Ahmed

CENTRE FOR THE AIDS PROGRAMME OF RESEARCH IN SOUTH AFRICA: Dr Hilton Humphries Sister Nokuthula Maphumulo Dr Lenine Liebenberg Dr Sinaye Ngcapu Dr Derseree Archary Dr Aida Sivro Natasha Samsunder

UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH: Dr Singeziwe Sibeko

UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL: Dr Pamela Gumbi

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Lindi Masson

Senior Research Fellow

Telephone

+61392822282

Email

[email protected]