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While the per-contact risk of sexual HIV transmission is relatively low, the virus has infected over 35 million people. Our translational research in the male and female genital tract of participants from Canada and East Africa has shown that genital immune parameters are key determinants of whether HIV transmission occurs after a sexual exposure. Biological parameters that may enhance mucosal HIV susceptibility include increased mucosal inflammation, particularly in relation to genital co-infections, the increased mucosal surface area that is afforded by an intact foreskin and contraceptive choices. Understanding these parameters better will lead to novel ways to prevent HIV transmission.
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Presenter: Dr. Rupert Kaul
Dr. Rupert Kaul is a clinician-scientist at the University Health Network and at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on how genital and rectal immunology influence HIV transmission and disease, using translational studies based in Canada, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.
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