BiographyDr. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing Infectious Disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Dr. Walensky's research interests focus on model-based analyses of the cost-effectiveness of HIV testing, care, and prevention strategies to inform HIV/AIDS policy internationally and domestically.
Using both traditional novel methods of microsimulation modeling and decision analysis, Dr. Walensky has been active in and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings.
In addition, Dr. Walensky hasbeen influential in advancing international health policy towards the promotion of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) and the adoption of other effective and efficient strategies of HIV care.
Dr. Walensky serves as Chair of the Office ofAIDS Research Advisory Council (NIH) and as a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.
Rochelle Walensky is Co-Director of the Medical PracticeEvaluation Center and, within that Center, is the Director of the Program in Epidemiology and Outcomes Research in Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Walensky's HIV-related research interests include the promotion of routine HIV counseling, testing and referral and the economic evaluation of alternative HIV testing and treatment policies. Dr. Walensky has published work on the impact of routine HIV screening, on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of HIV vaccines of varying efficacies, on the impact of generic antiretroviral, and on the preventive impact of early antiretroviral therapy. Her research is conducted both in the
Current projects include: 1) Ananalysis of the economic impact of economic incentives to promote ART retention;2) the years of life saved associated with ART in South Africa; and 3) the development of and HIV testing program in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and in a refugee setting in Uganda.
Within the Program in Epidemiology and OutcomesResearch in Infectious Diseases, Dr. Walensky has expanded her research portfolio to include a clinical trial of documenting MRSA clearance; the cost-effectiveness of diagnostic strategies to remove of MRSA/VRE-related contact precautions; and resource utilization associated with antibiotic allergies. She welcomes the opportunity to expand clinical research within general infectious diseases.
MGH Hotline 4.2.10
Early initiation of lifesaving antiretroviral therapies should be the standard of care for all HIV-infected patients, even those in countries with limited medical and financial resources, according to a study led by researchers at MGH and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Implementing universal HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment for infected individuals could have a major impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington, DC but not halt the epidemic, which a previous report had projected.
Replacing the combination of brand-name, antiretroviral drugs currently recommended for control of HIV infection with soon-to-be-available generic medications could save the U.S. health care system almost $1 billion a year but may diminish the effectiveness of HIV treatment.
"Treatment as prevention" – early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected individuals with uninfected sexual partners to prevent viral transmission – appears to make economic sense, along with meeting its clinical goals of helping infected patients stay healthy and reducing transmission.
Antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV infection has saved 2.8 million years of life in South Africa since 2004 and is projected to save an additional 15.1 million years of life by 2030, according to a new study published online in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators, working in collaboration with colleagues in Mozambique and South Africa, indicates that routine point-of-care CD4 testing at the time of HIV diagnosis could be cost effective in countries where health care and other resources are severely limited.