The NOVA-HIV Study: Reduced Dosing of the Nonavalent HPV Vaccine in Women Living with HIV (WLWH)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that causes cervical cancer. HPV vaccination and cervical screening are the best ways to prevent HPV and cervical cancer. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens the immune system. HPV vaccination and cervical screening are especially important for women living with HIV (WLWH), who have higher rates of HPV infection and are at greater risk for developing cervical cancer.

The primary goal of the NOVA-HIV study is to see if giving 2 doses of the nonavalent HPV vaccine provides as much protection as 3 doses. The objective of my graduate research within this study is to determine WLWH’s thoughts, feelings, and preferences in using self-collected swabs to test for HPV. Self-collected HPV tests may provide WLWH with an alternative and more acceptable method of screening for HPV.


This project will provide important information about the acceptability of new HPV testing procedures with the goal of making healthcare practices more comfortable and accessible for WLWH.

Improving clinical practice guidelines for antenatal corticosteroids: Incorporating a decision support tool to impact clinical counselling

Antenatal corticosteroids are a medication given to women who are at risk of an early delivery to reduce the chance of breathing problems for their baby after birth. Current guidelines recommend giving antenatal corticosteroids to pregnant women who might have their baby before 34 weeks of pregnancy. This medication may also help those at risk of an early delivery at 34-36 weeks of pregnancy but the balance between the benefits and harms of this treatment is less clear at these ages. Guidelines for giving this medication at 34-36 weeks of pregnancy are also unclear, making it difficult for doctors and patients to decide whether to use it. We will find out if including a decision support tool in clinical guidelines will improve how doctors discuss antenatal corticosteroids with patients at 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. We will ask patients whether they had better discussions with their doctor about this treatment after their doctor had access to the decision support tool within the clinical guideline, and we will ask doctors how this decision support tool impacted their counselling. This project could improve communication between doctors and patients, especially when it is unclear whether a treatment’s benefits outweigh its harms.