Reproductive Health for HIV–Affected Populations:
Directors: Lynn T. Matthews, MD MPH; Rebeca M. Plank, MD MPH
Reproductive Health for HIV–Affected Populations Leadership
Title & Affiliation
Scientific Area of Interest
Lynn T. Matthews, MD MPH (Co-Director)
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital
(MGH) is an infectious disease physician who uses behavioral science to understand sexual and reproductive behavior, and to develop and implement safer conception interventions for serodiscordant couples and at-risk individuals. She also investigates fertility desire, pregnancy incidence, and ARV adherence among women on ART, and is developing and piloting safer conception interventions for HIV-infected women and men who choose to conceive with at-risk partners in South Africa and Uganda.
Rebeca Zash, MD (Co-Director)
Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. Zash is interested in understanding and preventing adverse birth outcomes among HIV-infected women on ART, surveillance systems for drug safety and congenital abnormalities in LMIC
Working Group Goals:
- To foster the development of at least two new grant proposals in the area. To catalyze and support collaborative, cross- and inter-disciplinary research in the area of reproductive health for HIV-affected men and women globally (e.g. men and women living with HIV, HIV-uninfected men and women with known-infected partners or with unknown status partners in HIV-endemic settings), with a focus on safer conception and contraception in resource limited settings. This will include inter-disciplinary research pertaining to the full spectrum of planning of families – including spacing and prevention of pregnancy as well as supporting safer conception for individuals and couples with plans or hopes for pregnancy.
- To identify and bring together individuals with expertise in reproductive health, safer conception, contraception, mucosal immunology. The directors hope to bring basic scientists (e.g. those exploring mucosal immunology and its relationship to HIV acquisition and transmission risk), clinical researchers (e.g. those measuring clinical markers and outcomes related to contraception, conception and HIV acquisition) and behavioral scientists (e.g. those studying feasibility acceptability of long-acting reversible contraception and/or HIV prevention technologies) together to leverage collaboration on planned and ongoing research projects to broaden scope and enhance feasibility to answer scientific questions.
- Facilitate discussions among Harvard investigators and community partners to identify research and programmatic gaps in HIV-related health equity research, and submit collaborative grant applications to address these issues.