Project 3 studies the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and HIV in the two countries most impacted by the syndemics in Africa- South Africa and Nigeria. It investigates to what extent shared geospatial; mobility and demographics factors affect risk of both infections and how each infection affects the outcomes of the other, and whether the host genetic variation in Africa explains the apparently more favorable outcomes in Africa of COVID-19.
AIM 1: To assess whether HIV infection influences COVID-19 clinical outcomes, including symptom and disease severity, hospitalization rates, and mortality rates, taking into consideration co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer.
AIM 2: To assess whether COVID-19 had an impact on HIV treatment, clinical continuity and mortality.
AIM 3: To identify the epidemiological and spatial interaction, if any, between the COVID-19 and HIV epidemics
AIM 4: To amalgamate biorepositories to address whether host genetic variation explains apparently more favorable outcomes in Africa of COVID-19, taking HIV into account.
Vivek Naranbhai, is an associate Professor of Medicine at Monash University/Central Clinical School and a Medical Oncologist (also Research Associate at CAPRISA). His primary interests include; genomics, immunology, population Life Sciences in infectious and malignant disease; subspecialty experience in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is passionate about promoting healthy living by bringing together diverse health stakeholders and health systems to tackle health care problems. Vivek is keen on leveraging evidence–based decision making for policy decision making while improving the access to quality health care. He is also committed to the promotion of equity and social justice in Medicine initiatives, as well as profiled in print, radio and television media, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic and attracted philanthropic funding. Prof. Vivek has been engaged in the decentralized clinical trials arena via Care Access and early company creation via Third Rock Ventures.