Seminar #16

The Value of Knowing Why: The Case for HIV Resistance Genotyping in Africa

Aldatu Biosciences

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Sunday 4 December
13:00 – 17:00
CTICC room location: 2.64-2.66


  • Medical technicians/scientists
  • Clinicians/HIV care providers
  • NGO representatives
  • Health Ministry representatives
  • Researchers


Rising levels of HIV drug resistance across sub-Saharan Africa threaten to cripple decades of progress in antiretroviral therapy (ART) access and undermine global health initiatives to quell the HIV epidemic over the next 5 to 15 years. In the midst of massive efforts to provide ART to millions more patients and expand viral load testing infrastructure across the continent, critical questions linger: for patients failing ART, can clinicians make informed treatment decisions when provided with a viral load without a genotype? What is the value of knowing if a patient is failing treatment, without knowing why?

In this informational seminar, we will examine the current state of HIV drug resistance in Africa by providing an overview of published and ongoing studies that survey the troubling patterns and pacing of its spread in recent years. Through discussions of the potential benefits of broad implementation of HIV genotyping and the potential dire consequences of complacency, we will then present the case for genotyping at a variety of points along the HIV care continuum, from pre-ART initiation to following virologic failure, and in a variety of HIV-infected patient populations. Areas of focus for this discussion will include patient outcomes, ART program cost-effectiveness, the costs of inaction, and the patient/clinician relationship. Attendees will learn about the available technology options for HIV genotyping, as well as those under development, and their suitability for cost-conscious ART programs and existing laboratory infrastructure. Challenges associated with adoption of different genotyping strategies will also be discussed, along with approaches to mitigate these challenges and lower implementation barriers. The seminar will close with an open discussion among all attendees with a focus on unanswered questions in the field, and the role HIV resistance genotyping will play in achieving “the last 90”.


  • Status and trends of HIV drug resistance in Africa
  • Benefits of HIV drug resistance genotyping
  • Technology landscape for HIV genotyping


Iain MacLeod, PhD; Aldatu Biosciences; Chief Science Officer
Dr. MacLeod is co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Aldatu Biosciences. Dr. MacLeod developed the PANDAA technology as a Research Associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he has been part of the Essex Laboratory since 2008. He is also a Research Fellow at the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute. Dr. MacLeod obtained his PhD in molecular virology from the University of Cambridge, and his research interests include diagnostic virology for resource-limited settings, particularly the development of a simple, low-cost and highly sensitive assays for HIV drug resistance.

David Raiser, PhD; Aldatu Biosciences; Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Raiser is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Aldatu Biosciences, where he leads efforts in strategy, business development, and partnership management. Dr. Raiser received a PhD in Genetics from Harvard University, where he studied the molecular pathology of diseases of ribosome dysfunction. Prior to founding Aldatu, he worked in both biotech and university technology transfer.