Samuel Kizito, a third-year PhD student in public health sciences at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, co-authored a correspondence published in The Lancet addressing the current HIV epidemic among adolescents in Sierra Leone.
“Without prompt intervention, the country risks a surge in HIV cases and poorer outcomes that might lead to a broader HIV epidemic,” he wrote.
Kizito is a research associate at the Brown School’s International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD). Kizito’s research focuses on designing and evaluating interventions to improve outcomes among youths with HIV in low-income settings.
Sierra Leone, a west African country with a population of about 8.5 million people, is experiencing a steady increase in HIV prevalence.
“The HIV epidemic disproportionately affects children and adolescents,” Kizito wrote. “Although there are no disaggregated data available for adolescents, statistics show that of the 76,000 people living with HIV in Sierra Leone, 66,000 are people aged older than 15 years, and 10, 000 are children aged between 0 and 14 years.”