2017 Cope Lecture to focus on KC group’s fight against AIDS in Africa

The fight against HIV/AIDS has been global since its emergence in the 20th century, but one international organization based in Kansas City has been trying to make the fight against the deadly diseases personal.

Brad Gautney, founder and president of Global Health Innovations, will deliver the Cope Lecture on Science and Technology at 7:30 p.m. on April 4 at William Jewell College’s Yates-Gill College Union. His lecture, titled “HIT HIV in Africa: What a KC organization’s story tells us about transforming the fight against AIDS,” is free and open to the public. The event has been rescheduled from a previous date.

Global Health Innovations works to combat the problem of HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Malawi. The organization provides simple HIV testing for pregnant women, specialized testing for infants born to HIV-positive mothers and treatment to save lives. Further, the organization also provides access to healthcare for orphaned and vulnerable children.

GHI’s innovative approach is based around the HITSystem, which uses an algorithm centered on each HIV-exposed infant’s birthday to establish time-sensitive, cell phone-based reminders of critical treatments. Once an infant is enrolled in the HITSystem, the child is tracked until they are determined to be HIV positive or negative, started on lifelong pediatric HIV care if found to be HIV positive, or discovered to have other rare outcomes of infant mortality and are transferred to other health facilities.

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