Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has revolutionized the care of HIV-positive people, infants born to HIV/ART women still face a greater risk for illness, low birth rate, death, and other negative health outcomes compared with infants born to mothers without HIV.
Marcel Yotebieng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., has received a $3.6 million, five-year grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to better understand why infants of HIV-positive mothers often don’t fare well and to develop strategies for improving their health outcomes.
The study will involve a cohort of women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Yotebieng and colleagues will follow 600 women living with HIV on ART treatment, 600 HIV-negative women, and infants born to these women, through delivery up to twelve months’ post-partum. The researchers will specifically investigate whether placenta dysfunction or inflammation triggered by microbiome and virome (assemblage of viruses) of infants with HIV-positive mothers may be responsible for the infants’ poor health outcomes.
Dr. Yotebieng is an associate professor of medicine at Einstein. (1 R01 HD105526-01)
Posted on: Monday, June 14, 2021