Already Friday! By the time we get to the office on Fridays, most of the country teams are gone for the weekend since several offices close early. Therefore, Fridays can be the best day to focus.
Today, I spend the morning working on the protocol of an upcoming study that we are planning to do among miners in the artisanal gold mines in a region of Mali. Similar to the study that I described on Tuesday among men who have sex with men (MSM), we plan to measure HIV prevalence and determine the risk behaviors of informal miners. Informal miners are seasonal immigrants who travel from other countries and regions to work in the gold mines.
Because sex work takes place at the settlements where many informal miners live, they are likely to be a population at risk of HIV infection. However, HIV prevalence is unclear given that so few studies have been conducted among this specific population. Recently, ICAP conducted a formative assessment (focus groups and in-depth interviews) in Mali that provided the background information needed to help guide the study protocol currently under development.
In the afternoon, I spend time working on the results of a journal article. Writing manuscripts is of course important for one’s academic career so it’s important to try to squeeze in time for writing whenever possible.
TV SHOW OF THE DAY: “The Walking Dead”
Yes, I know I’m cheating by changing from movies to TV. I never thought I would enjoy watching anything related to zombies, but I have to admit, I’m a big fan. It was interesting how the epidemiology of the “zombie” virus is explained in the first season and how they ended up going to the CDC headquarters in Atlanta to see if they had a cure for the virus (spoiler alert, they didn’t!).
And with this, we get to the end of my blog. It’s been fun sharing my week with you and reflecting on the work that I do at ICAP. If you are currently working on your PhD, I wish you good luck and look forward to hearing your experiences as a blogger in the future!