Elaine Abrams, MD, is a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Columbia University and the senior research director at ICAP, based at the Mailman School of Public Health. At ICAP, Dr. Abrams leads a large and varied research portfolio that addresses critical scientific questions in HIV prevention, care and treatment. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of pediatric and perinatal prevention initiatives within ICAP-supported programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Dr. Abrams has been an active investigator in the field of maternal-infant HIV transmission and the natural history of HIV disease in infants, children and adolescents since the recognition of the epidemic in the United States. She developed a comprehensive research and care program for women and children with HIV infection in Central Harlem, the Family Care Center, and has been actively involved in the development of international, national and local guidelines and policies for care and treatment. Dr. Abrams has conducted multiple studies, clinical trials and implementation science studies in the area of maternal and child HIV and is currently the chair of the HIV treatment scientific committee of the NIH funded IMPAACT clinical trials. She also co-chaired the World Health Organization 2015 clinical guidelines group, which recommended universal antiretroviral treatment for all individuals living with HIV.
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Family Care Center: Dr. Elaine Abrams is a clinician at the Family Care Center, a care and research program for HIV infected and affected children and their families at Harlem Hospital in Central Harlem.
Select Global Activities
Safe Generations , Swaziland: "Situkulwane Lesiphephile - Safe Generations" is an implementation science research study designed to evaluate an innovative PMTCT strategy that includes a modified Option B approach, where all HIV positive pregnant women initiate lifelong triple ARV therapy independent of CD4+ count (Option B+) and all HIV positive pregnant and postpartum women and their infants are engaged in the same structured appointment and follow-up protocols currently available only to women receiving ART. The study hypothesizes that this single, uniform and streamlined treatment and retention approach for all HIV positive pregnant women will eliminate delays, prevent losses and will: (1) result in a higher proportion of mothers and infants successfully completing the PMTCT cascade and fewer new pediatric infections; (2) lead to a higher proportion of ART-eligible women initiating; (2) ART earlier in pregnancy; (3) will be more feasible to implement; 4) have greater acceptability; and 5) will be more cost-effective compared to Option A.
Strategies to optimize antiretroviral therapy services for maternal & child health: the MCH-ART study , South Africa: The study aims to evaluate two different strategies for delivering HIV care and treatment services during the postpartum period to eligible HIV-infected women who initiate antiretroviral treatment during pregnancy and their HIV-exposed infants. The primary objective is to compare a maternal-child health (MCH)-focused ART service to general adult ART services as strategies for providing ART during the postpartum period on (i) maternal HIV viral suppression, and (ii) maternal retention in ART services, at 12 months postpartum.