SSEREMBA Emmanuel | Hepatitis B in Uganda: Transmission and prevention strategies among infants and HIV- infected Adults

SSEREMBA Emmanuel examined the transmission and prevention strategies of this infection in two Ugandan populations (infants and HIV-infected adults) that are at a high risk for grave consequences of this infection-scarring of the liver, liver failure, and cancer. His study revealed that disease transmission prior to 6 weeks of age when the first HBV vaccine dose is currently administered to infants in Uganda is rare. It revealed ongoing disease transmission among HIV-infected adults contrary to the traditional thinking that this disease is mainly transmitted in early childhood in SSA. In addition, the inclusion of either or two medications (lamivudine/Tenofovir) for the treatment of HIV conferred protection against HBV acquisition. The vaccine against HBV was found to be effective among HIV-infected per- sons with sound immunity (CD4 count >200 cells). The study was funded by NIH and Uganda Cancer Institute; and was supervised by Assoc Prof. Ocama Ponsiano, Prof. Mayanja-Kizza Harriet, and Prof. Casper Corey.