Horacio A. Duarte, MD, MS
Health Policy Modeling to Address Maternal HIV Pretreatment Drug Resistance in Kenya
Treatment for HIV, known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), first became available in sub-Saharan Africa in the early 2000s. Since then, ART programs have delivered treatment to more and more people living with HIV over time, resulting in great strides in improving the health of this population, reducing the transmission of HIV, and reducing HIV death rates. However, one major challenge ART programs face is that as the availability of ART in resource-limited settings has increased, the prevalence of HIV drug resistance has also increased. This could decrease the effectiveness of ART programs because drug resistance decreases the probability that ART will effectively fight the HIV virus in the patient’s body. While this poses challenges for all patients living with HIV, it is especially important to address HIV drug resistance in women of reproductive potential, in order to decrease mother to child transmission of HIV. The goal of this research project is to expand an existing Kenya-based HIV simulation model to project the population-level costs and health benefits of potential strategies to address HIV drug resistance in women of reproductive potential. This work can provide policy makers with valuable data to inform the allocation of limited resources aimed at improving the treatment and prevention of HIV in Kenya.
I am very thankful for the PhRMA Foundation Health Outcomes Research Starter Grant. This award has provided me with the support I need to eventually obtain a career development award from the National Institutes of Health, which is essential for me to successfully pursue a career as a physician-scientist.