The study of the interaction between humans and HIV is a complex one. HIV is a disease with stigma and fear associated with it. Educating people and communities about HIV and the advances in treatment and in prevention is core to helping communities grow and cope with HIV in our society. Part of this is helping medical professionals understand the social and emotional tools needed to communicate with HIV positive people and their families and communities. The other part is communicating treatment and health practices to patients and the community.
In order to fight HIV, the whole patient and their environment need to be taken into consideration. This means that secondary conditions which are associated with or exacerbated by HIV need to be researched, and treatment protocols and systems developed to help alleviate these conditions. The DRILL Research focusing on HIV will include looking at the whole patient, rather than just researching better ways to treat HIV. As HIV positive people become longer-lived and asymptomatic, their quality of life can be improved by better healthcare and treatment.
The HIV/AIDS scientific track is led by Professor Mosa Moshabela.
Professor Bongani Nkambule is a Medical Biological Scientist in the Discipline of Haematology. He is currently an Associate Professor and Academic Leader of Molecular & Cellular Diseases in the Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, UKZN.
Dr Wendy Dhlomo-Mphatswe is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and a Developmental Lecturer in the Discipline of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at UKZN. She has spent the majority of her professional career in the field of HIV/AIDS research.
Dr Sherika Hanley is a research clinician and specialist in family medicine who works for the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based at UKZN. She has participated as a co-investigator in multiple clinical trials.
Dr Themba Nxumalo is a professional nurse in the iLembe Health District: Ndwedwe Community Health Centre, KZN. His role involves the assessment, diagnosis and management of chronic and minor ailments, implementing standards, practices, criteria and indicators for quality nursing and participation in training and research.
Dr Alvin J Munsamy is an academic from the College of Health Sciences, Discipline of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He joined UKZN after spending 15 years in private practice; he lectures Ocular Disease and Binocular Vision.