Determination of Mucosal Secretory Factors that Influence Susceptibility to HIV Infection Among Female Sex Workers in Kenya

Understanding the complex factors that can lead to HIV infection is crucial to addressing the problem among vulnerable populations, such as female sex workers. In 2010, the Global Health Research Initiative awarded a $1.8 million grant to the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) to build research capacity in Africa for HIV/AIDS prevention trials.

Since that time, KAVI has taken steps to become a regional Centre of Excellence for Mucosal Immunology in Kenya and East Africa. Mucosal immunology focuses on the sites at which most antigens enter the body, which include surfaces of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urogenital tracts. KAVI aims to establish a clinical research training centre to train new researchers, including PhD candidates.

This project will shed light on the genital mucosal immunology of HIV infections. It will specifically focus on the expression of blood antigens, which produce antibodies, on the female genital tract epithelium, the earliest point of HIV host contact. It will also examine potential associations with the establishment of HIV infection. Findings may provide further insight into the mucosal protection mechanism and contribute to the development of new HIV preventive technologies.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, March 5, 2012

End Date

Friday, September 5, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

Cohen, Marc

Total funding

CA$ 41,236


Kenya, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

Nadia Musimbi Chanzu


University of Nairobi

Institution Country


Institution Website