March 19, 2019

UW helps HIV research put more focus on oral health

University of Washington researchers are helping to place oral health more squarely in the mainstream of HIV research, taking a major step during a symposium in Kenya’s Machakos County in February.

From left: Dr. Arthur Kemoli, Dr. Francisco Ramos-Gomez and Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario at the Inter-CFAR Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium.

From left: Dr. Arthur Kemoli, Dr. Francisco Ramos-Gomez and Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario at the Inter-CFAR Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium.

For the first time, oral health was incorporated into the Inter-CFAR Sub-Saharan Africa Symposium, which drew hundreds of researchers. They included Dr. Ana Lucia Seminario of the UW School of Dentistry, who lectured on current studies that aim to understand more about HIV’s effect on children’s oral health and quality of life.

Dr. Seminario is director of the School of Dentistry’s DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health, whose work includes extensive collaboration with Kenyan researchers including Dr. Arthur Kemoli of the University of Nairobi. Dr. Kemoli’s symposium presentation described his university’s work on oral health training and research.

The symposium, sponsored by the UW/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the National Institutes of Health, also drew researchers including:

  • Caroline Shiboski, chair of the Department of Orofacial Sciences at the University of California San Francisco, who delivered a presentation on “Oral Diagnostic Tool for Non-Dentists: Evolution of Inter-Professional Collaborations to Advance HIV-Related Global Oral Health Research.”
  • Francisco Ramos-Gomez, director of the UCLA Center for Children’s Oral Health and director of UCLA’s Pediatric Dentistry Advanced Clinical Training Program, who lectured on “Oral Manifestations of HIV in Children.”

A CFAR-Sub-Saharan Africa working group is striving to promote new research collaborations by its members directed at high-priority scientific and public health challenges. The group also seeks to mentor young Sub-Saharan Africa research investigators.