G-CQT4R3X2EH HIV in South Africa: Part 2 - Microbe Mail

Episode 52

Published on:

16th Apr 2024

HIV in South Africa: Part 2

Professor Francois Venter is back in Part 3 of our HIV series in which he continues to address South Africa's battles against HIV. Here he discusses his experience on how and when to initiate antiretroviral therapy, prophylaxis against opportunistic infection, routine monitoring and what the future of HIV management looks like in South Africa.

About our Guest:

Professor WD Francois Venter, MD, FCP, PhD is Executive Director of Wits Ezintsha at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he received most of his training. His work involves health systems research and clinical trials, most recently involving the antiretrovirals dolutegravir, tenofovir alafenamide, cabotegravir, and doravirine. He leads multiple antiretroviral treatment optimisation studies and is currently working on new access programmes through private pharmacies within South Africa, patient linkage-to-care interventions, self-testing projects, as well as most recently on new large-scale primary care delivery platforms addressing hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidaemia and HIV. He has led large PEPFAR-funded HIV programmes in South Africa, focusing on men, women, children, young people, truckers, sex workers, and LGBTI communities. For over 20 years he has been an advisor to bodies such as the South African government, UNAIDS, and WHO, contributing to international, regional, and national HIV guidelines, and recently served as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for COVID-19. He has an active interest in medical ethics and has been involved in several HIV-related human rights cases within the southern African region. He supervises Masters and PhD students and has over 200 publications, including first-author articles in major journals.


SA HIV Clinicians society


Southern African HIV Clinicians Society guidelines for antiretroviral therapy in adults:2023 update

Liverpool HIV Drug Interactions Checker

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About the Podcast

Microbe Mail
Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Podcast
Are you looking for a medical podcast covering every day issues in diagnostic tests, antimicrobial therapy and management of infections that is relevant to a low or middle income setting? A show that simplifies complex concepts in an easy to follow conversational format? You've come to the right place. This is Microbe Mail - a medical podcast for the busy practitioner or student covering topics in microbiology, infectious diseases and infection control.
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About your hosts

Vindana Chibabhai

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Vin is an Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (CMID), Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and a practising clinical microbiologist with the National Health Laboratory Service. She is passionate about microbes (of course), antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial stewardship, diagnostics, healthcare associated infections, fungal infections, One Health...let's just say it's a very long list!

She is always looking for new ways to engage with clinicians and improve their understanding of microbiology and infections. This podcast is the perfect way to do just that!

She loves to be involved in research which will impact management of infections in lower-middle income settings. On Microbe Mail episodes, her views are her own.

Jamie Colloty

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Jamie is a medical officer/sub-investigator currently based at Wits VIDA (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analytics) Nkanyezi Research site at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, Johannesburg. She has completed her Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Wits), Diploma in HIV Management (CMSA), and is undertaking her Masters in Public Health through Imperial College London, with a research focus on culture-confirmed neonatal sepsis and meningitis cases in Johannesburg. She is passionate about antimicrobial stewardship and resistance, as well as the role of climate change on emerging infectious diseases. She is excited to combine her interest in microbiology with the work of the Microbe Mail team!

Nonkululeko Mntla

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"Just call me Nonks".
Despite her proudly South African name being as much of a tongue twister as one of the fascinating organisms she often works with, (Iooking at you Stenotrophomonas maltophilia), she is simply mad about Micro. "How interesting it is to be able to identify what organism is causing an infection, to know how it is causing the infection, what therapy can be used against it, what to do if the organism counterattacks with its arsenal of resistance mechanisms, and how to prevent that organism from spreading. That's what I enjoy most, but there is so much more."

Nonks is a Clinical Microbiologist based in Johannesburg, working in the private field; and is affiliated with the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a passion for bridging the understanding between the pathology noted in the laboratory and the patient at the bedside.

Esther Simone

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Esther is a researcher, writer and podcast editor. She holds a degree in the arts and is currently pursuing a qualification in psychology.
In her own words "The choice to join Microbemail as editor was the easiest one I've ever made. The podcast is fascinating and I learn so much each time I sit down to edit. I see it as a valuable addition to the toolbox of any clinician."

Fathima Suleman

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Dr. Fathima Suleman is a junior doctor, who works in a KZN-based hospital's Microbiology department. She is underway with a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Her interest lie in antimicrobial stewardship and infectious diseases. She is passionate about bridging the gap between laboratory medicine and clinical medicine. Coming from a background of graphic design, she is eager to add flare to the Microbe Mail social media.

Ruan Marais

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Ruan (Gert) Marais is currently a Medical Microbiology registrar at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with major research interests in the development of novel molecular techniques such a metagenomic sequencing, their translation to clinical care and the development of automated tools to aid clinical decision-making. He graduated as the top student in the final year of medical school at the University of Pretoria. Through a Commonwealth Scholarship he completed a MSc in Molecular Biology and Pathology of Viruses at Imperial College London and received the Dean’s prize for the top student. He further has an MMed in Medical Virology, is a Fellow of the College of Pathologists - Virology and received the UCT Colin Kaplan award for Medical Virology for his contribution to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.

Vinitha Alex

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Dr. Vinitha Alex is a Clinical Microbiologist based in Johannesburg, South Africa and a Microbiology lecturer affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand. Her particular areas of interest are antimicrobial stewardship, diagnostic stewardship, infection prevention and control, healthcare informatics, medical training and research and development.
She is keen on taking clinical microbiology to the grass root level, making it understandable & accessible to healthcare providers, particularly in areas of low expertise/ specialist availability. She is passionate about improving guideline compliance, fighting the spread of antimicrobial resistance and creating a system that makes good health economic sense.