The CEPHIA Collaboration:Making sense of competing claims about the meaning and performance of tests for recent HIV infection

SPEAKER: Alex Welte

TITLE: The CEPHIA Collaboration: "Making sense of competing claims about the meaning and performance of tests for "recent HIV infection"

Incidence and prevalence of disease are the most fundamental epidemiological indicators. They are related quite simply for conditions of short duration, like seasonal flu, but for chronic conditions, such as HIV, notably, the relationship is complex, and it is only prevalence that is in principle easy to estimate.

For about 20 years, there has been significant interest in and development of idea of using tests for ‘recent infection' to define a transient condition, associated with HIV acquisition, which would make it possible to perform incidence surveillance using the cases of simpler relationship to prevalence. Many conceptual and technical details have proved to be obstacles to practical implementation of this idea, both in developing suitable biomarkers to define recent infection, and in deploying an uncontroversial analytical approach to data derived from testing from testing for recent infection.

In 2010, the Gates foundation initiated a substantial funding programme for a project known as the Consortium for the Evaluation and Performance of HIV Incidence Assays. The first major objectives of this project have been met - namely to provide a thorough independent assessment of tests for recent infection that have been developed by various researchers who are not part of the evaluation process.

This talk outlines the kinds of questions CEPHIA was set up to investigate, some of the interesting processes and challenges that have been encountered along the way, and where the field currently finds itself.

Alex is a physicist by training and a jack of all mathematical/statistical modelling trades by occupation. For much of the last 10 years he has been active in the investigation of various aspects of HIV incidence surveillance, and has been the analytical lead in the CEPHIA consortium. From mid 2010 to mid 2016, he was Director of SACEMA.

DATE: Friday, 25 November 2016
VENUE: SACEMA Boardroom, 19 Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch
TIME: 12h00 - 13h00

Light refreshments are served after the Seminar.

Please RSVP before 12h00 on the Tuesday, 22 November 2016.