Columbia Mailman Students Present Research at AIDS 2022

August 4, 2022

Columbia Mailman School students presented research at AIDS 2022, the 24th International AIDS Conference, held in Montreal, Canada. They presented abstracts and posters and took part in oral briefing sessions on topics such as injection drug use during the pandemic to how relationship dynamics affect HIV prevention. 

Kavitha Ganesan, an epidemiology student, took part in a Q&A session on HIV epidemiology where she presented findings from a study co-authored with Wafaa El-Sadr and Andrea Low. The study analyzed data collected in nine African countries as part of the Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) project. It found that nearly 43 percent of people living with HIV had a delayed diagnosis with a low T-cell count, putting them at increased risk for opportunistic infections and death.

“Presenting my findings on late diagnosis using PHIA data at AIDS 2022 as an oral abstract has been an exciting opportunity,” said Ganesan. “Leveraging the conference’s global platform to expose ICAP’s research impact to the community of HIV researchers, program implementers, and policymakers is critical to improving HIV testing, treatment, and incidence reduction.”

Incoming epidemiology student Sarah Chung presented a paper co-authored by several ICAP researchers, including El-Sadr and Jessica Justman. Chung, who is also an ICAP research assistant, led the study of pregnant women living with HIV, finding that adherence to antiretroviral therapy was lower in those who started treatment during pregnancy than those who started it before pregnancy.

Two ICAP post-docs presented their own findings. A study led by Lori Miller in Durban, South Africa, concluded by saying the findings add to evidence suggesting “adherence to PrEP in Africa is shaped by male partners and women's perceptions of their male partners' reactions.” Cho-Hee Shrader presented on injection behaviors among people who inject drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic and disparities in availability of Spanish-language PrEP services among Latino sexual minority men in South Florida.

Finally, Tara McCrimmon, a DrPH student in sociomedical sciences, presented research revealing the need for guidance and tools to ensure the equitable offering of long-acting injectable anti-retroviral therapy to all patients. She also presented on the effectiveness of culturally-tailored intervention about PrEP for Black women in community supervision programs.