Dr Joseph B Sempa is a Research associate at SACEMA, working on the repurposing of HIV diagnostic assays for HIV management and is supervised by Prof Alex Welte. Joseph’s work focuses on how HIV serological assay results can be used to estimate time since HIV infection in newly diagnosed HIV patients. This is important in achieving the first 90-90-90 UNAIDS goal of HIV testing 90% of the population as time since HIV infection in newly diagnosed patients can be used for contact tracing, support for disclosure to partners, and preparing people for treatment.
Further, Joseph was recently shortlisted for the EDCTP career development fellowship to analyze and interpret the dynamic range of HIV diagnostic assays for viral load monitoring after antiretroviral therapy initiation. This work will focus on HIV antibody monitoring can be used in place of viral load monitoring when patients are on ART. Previously, he was funded by SACEMA to do a PhD in Epidemiology, focusing on the effects of longitudinal HIV viral load on treatment outcomes in people on ART in sub-Saharan Africa, under the supervision of Prof Martin Nieuwoudt. He attended MMED in 2013 after which he received an ICI3D scholarship under the supervision of Prof Steve E Bellan.