Karl-Gunter Technau, University of Witwatersrand

Karl-Gunter Technau. I believe that a clinicians duty must include careful observation, critical analysis and dissemination of results for the improvement of services overall. Infant and maternal mortality are two of the most devastating challenges facing South Africa due to the HIV epidemic and every single averted death and prevented illness brings the country closer to reaching not only its international commitments, but more importantly its promise of a better life to its population many of whom remain extremely vulnerable. My work focusses around merging service delivery in the field of pediatric/adolescent HIV and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV with operational research. During the period of high maternal HIV prevalence in Southern Africa this is especially relevant as HIV has led to the reversal of the gains made in reducing infant, child and maternal mortality over the last decades. Based at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital with the remarkable support of my senior colleagues (Profs. A Coovadia and G Sherman) I have been able to pursue an academic career simultaneously. I have developed and introduced data systems that enable the HIV clinical services to report their activities. These data systems I have then engaged in my operational research, which has involved introducing peripartum HIV testing for new mothers in the Maternity Ward (basis of my own MSc [Med], PhD) and involved work on improving follow-up of HIV positive mothers and their exposed infants. I have been able to use this resource for supervising masters (MMed) students in the Department of Pediatrics. As the principal investigator for the site Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, I assist with contribution to the International epidemiological Databases for the Evaluation of AIDS (IeDEA-Southern African region). My current foci of attention are Point-of-Care infant HIV diagnostics as well as mental health in adolescents with HIV.

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