Dr. Chirenje is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the College of Health Science at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. His main research interest is HIV prevention clinical trials in women with particular emphasis on microbicides and pre-exposure prophylaxis development and cervical cancer screening/treatment of pre-cancer lesions in low resource settings. He is also principal investigator for a large U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded HIV clinical trials unit (UZ-UCSF) that is executing clinical trials for four networks (ACTG, IMPAACT, MTN, HPTN).
1. How did you first get involved with the HPTN?
I first became involved with the HPTN when I joined the HPTN 035 protocol writing team and was a site principal investigator (PI) for HPTN 035 during its execution. As Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) PI during HPTN 052, I assisted our site with study conduct. I was a member of the protocol writing teams for HPTN 076 and HPTN 082. Currently I am a member of the HPTN 084 protocol writing team. I am site PI for HPTN 076 and Co-Investigator for HPTN 081.
2. What do you find most challenging about the work you do in support of the HPTN?
Identifying women who are at high risk for HIV acquisition in a time of declining sero-incidence.
3. What do you think will change about HIV prevention over the next five years?
There will likely be an approved antiretroviral (ARV) vaginal ring and a long-acting intramuscular ARV for women to choose as additional HIV prevention methods.
4. What do you wish other people knew about your work?
How hard we are working to find an effective HIV prevention tool that women can use freely and adhere to as prescribed.
5. What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Although I am African by birth and upbringing, I am scared of snakes and thunderstorms!
6. What do you do when you aren’t working?
I enjoy taking walks in the outskirts of Harare and listening to old music from the 70s and 80s.