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Presentation Time: 3:10-3:30
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Bonnie Shook-Sa, Biostatistics
Program: CFAR
Research Title: Assessing Risk of HIV Acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa

Approximately 37.7 million people globally were living with HIV in 2020. Although sub-Saharan Africa has about 14% of the global population, it is home to two thirds (67%) of people living with HIV. Due to this disproportionate burden of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa has become a top priority to fight against the epidemic. Since 2014, the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) Project has been conducting nationally representative surveys in 15 of the most-affected countries to capture the state of the HIV epidemic. Here, we explain the PHIA’s complex multi-stage sample design and methods for computing estimates of HIV prevalence and incidence. With available datasets from ten countries, we present comparisons of estimates of prevalence and annual incidence of HIV among men and women in these countries.

In sub-Saharan Africa, around 4200 adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15–24 years became infected with HIV every week in 2020. Because of the high incidence of HIV among this population, our next step is to explore risk factors associated with recent HIV infection among AGYW in sub-Saharan Africa. We plan to use machine learning methods to build prediction models for HIV acquisition that will be used to develop a risk assessment tool for AGYW. This risk assessment tool can be used in HIV prevention efforts.