SDSU Research Foundation publishes its “Research Highlights” annually, showcasing some of the many wondrous research projects going on at SDSU. The 2015-2016 edition features our very own Susan Kiene and Tracy Finlayson!
Home-Based HIV Testing in Rural Uganda
Susan M. Kiene
Throughout sub-Saharan Africa there is a pressing need for early and simpler entry into HIV care and treatment. As many as two-thirds of patients are lost between testing HIV positive and initiation of treatment. Timely linkage to care reduces mortality rates, improves treatment outcomes and decreases the likelihood of transmitting HIV to others.
In rural Uganda, global health researcher Susan Kiene is testing a home-based HIV testing and counseling model with enhanced linkage to care services to see if it reduces time to HIV care, treatment initiation, and population-level infectivity. Her enhanced intervention emphasizes counseling and seeking social support to overcome HIV-related stigma – and may be a cost-effective HIV testing and referral approach.
Dr. Kiene’s work is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Boca Sana, Cuerpo Sano (Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body)
While oral health has improved for most in the U.S. in recent decades, improvements have not been experienced equitably. Untreated dental diseases remain “a silent epidemic,” disproportionately afflicting racial/ethnic minority groups and the socially disadvantaged. Untreated dental disease can cause pain and lead to difficulty with eating, speaking, learning and working.
An inaugural Isman-Fine Leadership Fellow with the Center for Oral Health in California, Dr. Tracy Finlayson addresses oral health disparities and issues around access to dental care, particularly for vulnerable population groups. Her com-munity-based participatory research with Mexican migrant families in north San Diego County led to the development and evaluation of a low-literacy oral health educational curriculum in English and Spanish; her community health worker-led educational intervention improved self-reported oral health quality of life and oral hygiene practices among those not regularly performing them. Her work has significant implications for oral disease prevention.
Dr. Finlayson’s recent research was funded by the Dentaquest Foundation, and her research with UC San Francisco is supported by the National Institutes of Health.