IDI-Makerere , DOlPHin 2 participation in the 20th International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa, Kigali, Rwanda

IDI-Makerere , DOlPHin 2 participation in the 20th International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa, Kigali, Rwanda 2nd to 7th December 2019

Adelline Twimukye*, Kenneth Mulindwa*, Mercy Kukundakwe*, Diana Namuddu, Esther Nalugga*.
DoLPHIN 2 study Team*

On 3rd December 2019, Infectious Diseases Institute through the Dolphin 2 study team participated in an exhibition during the 20th International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa, Kigali – Rwanda Convention Centre. This was under the theme “Understanding the Safe and effective use of Dolutegravir for mothers (and their babies) who present with untreated HIV in late pregnancy”. The exhibition aimed at dissemination of quantitative and qualitative results for DolPHIN 2 study and to create awareness about DolPHIN 2 study.

The event was graced by researchers, academia, policy makers, Non-governmental organisations, local leaders and general health practitioners. Conference attendees were from within and outside Rwanda. We expected 400 attendees but received 321 who visited the IDI- DolPHIn 2 exhibition stall that participants found to be very informative and impressive.

During the conference, His Excellence the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame gave his prominence on how to curb down new infections in HIV. He said, ‘Containing HIV/AIDS requires political commitment and sustained focus on building strong public health institutions, to address the health and development needs of the people’.

Later on, the welcome address was sent by the ICASA President, Prof. John Idoko who said, ‘The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa is once again here with us. It comes at a critical juncture when we hardly have any time left to actualize the bold ambition of ending AIDS by 2030. It also comes a year before the review of UNAIDS global 90-90-90 targets in 2020. The event was then graced by the Honourable Minister of Health in Rwanda, Dr. Diane GASHUMBA, with remarks of, ‘The Government of Rwanda appreciates to have been chosen to host the ICASA 2019’.

Participants felt that Dolphin study was useful and relevant as it enhanced great information sharing, protects mothers and babies, contributes to an HIV free Africa as illustrated by one attendee. Your study is doing a wonderful job for HIV care and support services. HIV free Africa is most possible with your contribution. Attendees reported that Study revealed positive results regarding effectiveness of dolutegravir. They mentioned that DTG was a good drug, better than Efavirenz, risk of DTG in pregnancy reduced, its more tolerable, efficient, palatable, cost effective and best medicine for rapid viral suppression as expressed; Very interesting results from the DTG study among pregnant women. I like the fact that it has positive results.

We look forward to future conferences to enhance DolPHIN 2 study visibility and call for additional funding to expand results dissemination.