Dr. Munyaradzi Pasipamire Wins Award for Young Investigators at AIDS 2016

The USAID ASSIST Project is pleased to announce that Dr. Munyaradzi Pasipamire was awarded the Lange/von Tongeren (IAS/ANRS) Prize for Young Investigators at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. The prize, awarded before a large crowd gathered for the Thursday plenary session, supports “young researchers who demonstrate innovation, originality, rationale and quality in the field of HIV research.” One prize is awarded to the top scoring abstracts in each of the conference research tracks. Dr. Pasipamire’s abstract was chosen by an IAS review committee from amongst over 6,700 abstracts submitted to AIDS 2016 for Young Investigators for Track B, Clinical Research.

Entitled “Evaluating the incremental value of using the TB LAM test in intensified case finding for TB in people living with HIV,” Dr. Pasipamire’s poster reported that the TB LAM test may be used in patients to aid in the diagnosis of TB, but only in patients with CD4 count <100 cells/ml. A positive TB LAM was 30 times more likely to be truly positive if CD4 count was <100, compared to CD4 count >100 cells/ml (view the full poster).

The poster reported on the work and research conducted by Dr. Pasipamire, as well as A. Mafukidze, S. Mazibuko, M. Calnan, R. Jeffries, N. Mahlalela, G. Maphalala, D. Khumalo, J. Manjengwa and S. Haumba of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project and the Ministry of Health Swaziland National AIDS Control Program, in collaboration with UNAIDS and the National Emergency Response Council on AIDS (NERCHA) Swaziland.

The USAID ASSIST Project seeks to build the capacity of host country service delivery organizations in USAID-assisted countries to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, client-centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the health and family services they provide. USAID ASSIST also seeks to institutionalize the capacity to improve through competency development at the pre- and in-service levels as well as engaging with host country governments at the policy level.

The ASSIST Team had a great week at the AIDS Conference. In addition to Dr. Pasipamire’s award, team members offered several oral presentations and 10 poster presentations at the conference. For details on ASSIST’s presence at the conference, click here.

Dr. Pasipamire is already looking ahead to the next challenge. “Evaluating Xpert MTB/RIF performance in people living with HIV with high CD4 count in Swaziland to further investigate an unusual finding in this study—perhaps we’ll have an answer for AIDS 2018!”

This article was originally published on the URC website on July 21, 2016.

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