Research Fellows Directory
Tulio de Oliveira
Professor Tulio de Oliveira
University of Edinburgh
It is three decades since the first cases of AIDS were reported. For the first time, there is scientific consensus that the tools now exist to control and reverse the HIV epidemic. Indeed, mathematical models suggest that the epidemic could be halted by 2050 if high-levels of ART coverage are achieved (in combination with other effective interventions, such as medical male circumcision). Key to devising the most efficient and cost-effective combination of interventions will be a clear understanding of patterns of HIV transmission in a typical rural African hyper-endemic setting. As part of this fellowship I am applying recent methodological innovations in viral gene sequencing technology combined with phylogenetic analysis to understand patterns of HIV transmission. Preliminary results show that the growth of the epidemic in South Africa coincided with socio-political changes in (South Africa) the country in the 1980s and 1990s. The epidemic has grown to unexpected high-levels, with over 60% of women above 35 being current infected in rural settings in KZN. My recent results suggest that men around 30 years old, unaware of their status and not on ART are the main drivers of infection to young women. These women, in turn, are likely to infect men as the women age. These results may be used to devise targeted interventions to halt the spread of HIV in this and similar settings.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)