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How can researching a cohort of infants from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa help explain differing HIV susceptibility of males and females? Professor Philip Goulder, head of the HIV Research Group, discusses the Baby Cure study.

In 2015, Professor Philip Goulder and his team from the HIV Research Group set out to investigate infants who have been infected with HIV in utero (in the womb) in the hope to discover the mechanisms by which HIV cure can be achieved. In the process, researchers noticed differences between the transmission rates to males and females - baby girls were two to three times as likely to get infected in utero than baby boys.

The Baby Cure study is presented in the video below; recently, it also yielded two publications:

Sex-specific innate immune selection of HIV-1 in utero is associated with increased female susceptibility to infection – Adland et al, Nature Communications, 2020

HIGH-FREQUENCY failure of combination antiretroviral therapy in paediatric HIV infection is associated with unmet maternal needs causing maternal NON-ADHERENCE – Millar et al, E Clin Med, 2020