Global Health Tuesday: Global Diagnostic Challenges and Needs for Curbing the HIV Epidemic

A head shot of Lara Vojnov

Lara Vojnov, Ph.D., diagnostics advisor in the HIV and Hepatitis Department of the World Health Organization (WHO), presents the first Global Health Tuesday seminar for the 2019-2020 academic year. The presentation begins at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, in Room 1335 of the Health Sciences Learning Center.

She will discuss the progress and challenges in diagnosing and monitoring HIV in limited resource settings. Using a public health approach to disease management, she will look at critical global policies and practices that have supported the expansion of diagnostics to nearly 40 million people living with HIV. She will also consider some of the key gaps and strategies under consideration in an attempt to curb the epidemic and reach control in the next decade.

Vojnov currently leads normative guidance development and country support for HIV and hepatitis diagnostics, including viral load, early infant diagnosis, and laboratory quality and development. Prior to joining the WHO in 2016, Dr. Vojnov worked for the Clinton Health Access Initiative as a Senior Scientist supporting countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to increase access to key HIV diagnostics. She has lived in South Africa, Liberia, and Tanzania and is now based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Vojnov’s visit is supported by a Visiting Scholars Award to David O’Connor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, from the Global Health Institute (GHI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The award supports a project that will allow¬†portable HIV drug resistance testing with a set of infected samples to generate a resistance profile and validate the performance of this upcoming technology. This will provide a clearer picture of the diagnostic pipeline and possibilities for future WHO consideration

GHI presents the Global Health Tuesday seminar series with researchers and practitioners from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and across the world. The speakers showcase the complexity of global health challenges and the many kinds of expertise needed to address them. By sharing their experiences with the campus and Madison communities, these guests provide insights into global health, encourage conversation, and help connect colleagues locally and globally.