Seth Inzaule awarded doctorate degree ‘Cum Laude’ for HIV drug resistance thesis

After 4 years of cutting-edge research, work and analyses, Seth Inzaule successfully defended his thesis on November 12. The defense took place at the University of Amsterdam’s Agnietenkapel.

At a scientific symposium held in his honor, and in honor of his co-PhD candidate Cissy Kityo, Seth shared his findings on an expert panel with more than 50 attendees. His thesis was titled Towards Achieving the third ‘90’ of the 90-90-90 Global HIV targets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“My research topic focused on ways to achieve the viral suppression, third target of the 2020 global triad targets set in place by UNAIDS to achieve epidemic control by 2030. UNAIDS in 2014 set global triad targets; the 90-90-90 for having 90% of all people living with HIV/AIDS knowing their status, 90% of those who know their status being on treatment and 90% of those on treatment achieving viral suppression by 2020.”

In September 2014, Seth began working with AIGHD as a PhD student in the PASER (Pan African Studies to Evaluate Resistance in Africa) Project. Established in 2006, the PASER project set out to monitor HIV drug resistance in adults in six sub-Saharan African countries. Under the supervision of project lead Professor Tobias Rinke de Wit, Seth and his colleagues surveilled and monitored various cohorts of HIV patients initiating antiretroviral treatment in order to understand the complexities of HIV drug resistance. The findings of the study emphasize the urgent need to transition to the new WHO recommended first-line regimens in children and adults, widespread implementation of viral load monitoring and increased access to affordable second-line regimens to ensure successful and lasting HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Identifying determinants and barriers for viral suppression will help implement appropriate interventions for improving this. Ensuring high levels of viral suppression is critical for achieving epidemic control as it reduces the risk of new HIV infection as well as ensure good treatment outcomes among those living with HIV.”

Seth’s desire to study HIV drug resistance grew after an HIV research internship in Kenya. Seth joined AIGHD after completing his master’s in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. During his time at AIGHD, he has worked tirelessly to improve long-term antiretroviral treatment outcomes in low- and middle-income countries by specifically addressing the emerging problem of HIV drug resistance. In 2017, Seth was appointed as Consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the WHO HIVResNet team on HIV drug resistance surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

Seth’s contributions to HIV drug resistance research in sub-Saharan Africa are undeniable, and his ambition and progress are only just beginning.

Please join us in congratulating Seth for this significant accomplishment!