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  • Pauline Byakika-Kibwika, winner of the HIVRT alumni scholarship to attend the HIV Drug Therapy Congress, Glasgow, 2018.

    HIV Research Trust alumni were asked to complete a survey describing how their HIVRT scholarship had impacted their professional and academic lives allowing Trustees to better understand how it affected patient outcomes in the scholar’s home setting. The Trustees assessed all survey responses and selected Pauline to receive the above award. Her story is summarised below.

    In 2010 Pauline attended a placement at Mahidol University, Thailand to obtain clinical pharmacology analytical skills to assist her in completing her PhD. Pauline’s PhD work contributed to the current knowledge on treatment of malaria in HIV-infected patients who are also receiving antiretroviral treatment. This work has been utilised and referenced by the World Health Organization in the current policy on treatment of malaria in HIV-infected individuals.

    After completion of her PhD, she was promoted to Associate Professor and currently heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Department of Medicine of Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda where they care for those who are affected with HIV and opportunistic infections - more than 200 HIV-infected inpatients and over 300 outpatients are seen each month.

    Pauline is also the Director of the Research Directorate at Makerere where her responsibilities include reviewing and guiding the research framework at the Department of Medicine and supervising Masters and PhD students’ research projects.
  • Evelyn Yayra Afua Bonney
    Country Ghana
    Job Title Principal Research Assistant/Technical Supervisor
    Date of Scholarship April - May 2010
    Host Country Madrid, Spain
    Scholarship Sequence Analysis and Mutation in Relation to Drug Resistance, Unit of HIV Biology, National Centre for Microbiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III



    I spent 6 weeks at the Unit of HIV Biology and Variability, National Centre for Microbiology, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda , Madrid, Spain.

    During this period, I performed all the procedures for analyzing drug resistance mutations, phylogeny and recombinant viruses on 44 samples (22 pairs of plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells -PBMC), from Ghanaian HIV-positive patients receiving 2nd line antiretroviral therapy. I acquired skills in sequence analysis, interpreting drug resistance mutation data, subtyping viral strains, drawing and interpreting phylogenetic trees and analyzing recombinant strains. I also observed best practices in sequencing from staff of the Genomic Unit.

    As a result, I obtained data on drug resistance mutations in plasma and PBMC of the patients (the first of such data from Ghana) and their correlation with the drugs and HIV genetic forms. These data (part of results of my PhD research) are useful to the clinicians for patients’ management and also contribute knowledge to the evolution of the HIV-1 epidemic in Ghana.

    Upon my return home, the skills acquired have been used in my PhD studies and in my duties as Technical Supervisor of the HIV Genotyping Laboratory, generating and interpreting HIV genotypic data for the Ghana National AIDS/STIs Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service. My training has also strengthened the collaboration between NMIMR, Ghana and ISCIII, Spain.

    I am grateful to the HIV Research Trust for the opportunity and to the PM-BVIH, ISCIII, for hosting me.


    2018/19 TIMELINE

    • 2019 scholarships announced late December 2018



    If you are interested in applying for a scholarship find out more below:



    The scholarships are for health care professionals in early/mid-career who are located in resource-limited settings from low-income and lower-middle-income countries working in the field of HIV infection. Read more to see if you are eligible.