Urvi Parikh, PhD, has been awarded funding of $4,200,000 for a five-year subaward from FHI 360, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) entitled “Maximizing Options to Advance Informed Choice for HIV Prevention (MOSAIC)”. This proposal, led by FHI 360, was submitted in response to the competitive funding opportunity entitled “The Microbicide 2021 Introduction and Access Project” under funding opportunity number 7200AA21RFA00008 to establish a consortium of partners to support implementation of HIV prevention products in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Parikh will be the technical lead for HIV drug resistance.

Using the same drugs and drug classes for HIV prevention and treatment threatens the success of both programs due to the risk of overlapping HIV drug resistance (HIVDR).  High rates of HIVDR can reduce the effectiveness of first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the rise of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) pre-treatment resistance (PDR) could compromise the efficacy of the dapivirine (DPV) vaginal ring, an HIV prevention option for women. Integrated resistance monitoring of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) rollout and ART scale-up will enable the long-term success of both strategies.

Under Dr. Parikh’s direction, the University of Pittsburgh team will work to characterize HIVDR rates associated with the use of oral PrEP, the DPV ring and Cabotegravir (CAB LA) within national programs, and, to provide technical support to sustainably increase capacity for HIVDR monitoring that will benefit efforts for both PrEP rollout and ART scale-up. University of Pittsburgh team will work with a range of international partners across multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa to carry out this work.

Congratulations, Urvi!