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Public Policy Analysis

The Effects of HIV Exposure and Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) Supplementation on Infant Growth

Sophia Geffen (2013); Additional Collaborator(s): Sallie Permar*; Mentor(s): Pardis Mahdavi; Heather Williams
*Duke Human Vaccine Institute

Abstract: As of 2010, Malawi possessed an under-5 mortality rate of 92 deaths per 1,000 live births, one of the highest rates in the world (The World Bank, 2012) A significant number of these deaths are due to perinatal HIV exposure and infection. Therefore, it is of great interest to study the factors that enable children to achieve HIV-free survival. The CHAVI009 study investigated the effects of HIV exposure and ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) supplementation on infant growth by feeding HIV positive mothers and their babies with RUTF and recording subsequent growth determinants. For my thesis, I will be using the CHAVI009 data to conduct statistical analysis and later place the outcomes of this clinical trail in the context of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) policies in Malawi and other developing nations. If the results of the study prove that RUTF is an effective means to counteract the growth effects of HIV-exposure, then this protocol could be used for PMTCT policies and programs worldwide.
Funding Provided by: Aubrey H. and Eileen J. Seed Student Research Fund