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Medical Anthropology & Global Health Seminar Series: “Improving Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment for Pregnant Women in Africa: Applying Medical Anthropology in Global Health”

Posted: 12/5/2017 (Local Events)

“Improving Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment for Pregnant Women in Africa: Applying Medical Anthropology in Global Heath”

 Professor James Pfeiffer, Department of Global Health, Department of Anthropology

Abstract: Dr. Pfeiffer will describe a recently completed 4-year implementation science intervention study in Mozambique conducted with co-PI Dr. Rachel Chapman (also in the Department of Anthropology). The project was funded by the NICHD to develop and test a pilot intervention in six large public clinics in central Mozambique. The project sought to improve implementation of 2013 WHO “Option B+” guidelines to start antiretroviral treatment (ART) among pregnant women at time of HIV diagnosis in prenatal care.  Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world and has among the highest HIV prevalence rates. Provision of ART to mothers for their own health and to prevent transmission of the HIV virus to their infants is one of Mozambique’s highest priorities for HIV programming.  Data from Mozambique indicated substantial loss-to-follow-up (LTFU) in the first 3 months after ART initiation in prenatal care, meaning that a very high proportion of mothers stopped taking the medication that should in principle be continued for life. The use of anthropological methods to help design, measure, and evaluate an intervention to improve adherence and retention in HIV care of pregnant women and new mothers will be described and discussed. Dr. Pfeiffer will present intervention results from the study and reflect on the role of medical anthropology in applied global health.

Dr. James Pfeiffer, PhD, MPH, is Professor in the Department of Global Health in the School of Public Health, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology, at the University of Washington.  Dr. Pfeiffer has over twenty-five years of experiences conducting research in Africa. He has collaborated with Health Alliance International in projects targeting primary health care delivery and strengthening public health sectors.  His expertise covers a wide range of topics, including HIV/AIDS, community participation, nutrition, reproduction, religion, global health, and medical anthropology.  His work has been published in many journals, including Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Social Science & Medicine, the Annual Review of Anthropology, and The Lancet.

For more information about the MAGH lecture series, contact Marieke van Eijk (coordinator) at:

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Date: 12/06/2017

Time: 3:30-4:50 PM

Location: Kane Hall, Room 110