IWHOD Conference Reflections (March 2018)

International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Observational Databases (IWHOD) Conference.

The conference was well organised and the science engaging. Our group consisted of researchers from the Alpha network, and the Kisesa (Tanzania) cohort. Our presentations were on the topics of linkage between databases, and the estimation of prevalence and incidence of HIV.

Linkage is a crucial part of getting the most out of data, and of interest to many at the conference. However the linkage we were presenting – linkage between clinical and population data – was a little different to the main items on the agenda. Similarly, the estimation of prevalence and incidence was a little peripheral to the modelling presented by others. Nonetheless, the scientific discussions were thought-provoking, informative, and often challenging. This is a conference that would benefit many of the researchers starting their careers and looking for new, opportunities with cohort data.

Although in my view, the conference lacked diversity. White and male thinking from developed countries domination the discussion. The cohorts were mostly clinical and assessing the effects of different kinds of therapy. The methodological presentations on the statistical analysis was interesting and applicable to African population cohorts; and will be useful for researchers in Kisesa. The lack of representation from African population cohorts was noticeable and should be challenged in the future.

Reflections from Jim Todd, Professor Applied Biostatistics at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Lead for Routine Case Based Surveillance at the MeSH Consortium