Dr. Alain Amstutz, MD

Function(s)
PhD Student

Organisational Entity

Alain Amstutz is a physician researcher with a focus on clinical HIV research in Southern Africa, mainly Lesotho. He is currently enrolled in a PhD (Clinical Research) at the University of Basel & the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, funded through the SNSF/SAMW MD-PhD program: http://p3.snf.ch/Project-177576


He has a major coordinating role of two randomized clinical trials: i) Optimizing the current viral load threshold for defining HIV treatment failure (SESOTHO trial; https://bit.ly/33jC1Ay) and ii) Assessing decentralized community-based HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment initiation and sustained access to treatment in rural Lesotho (GET ON project; www.getonproject.wordpress.com). He is also the Principal investigator of a cluster-randomized trial assessing a novel model of care for adolescents living with HIV in Lesotho, funded through a grant from the International AIDS Society (PEBRA trial; https://bit.ly/2qI96sw).


The research projects are part of the HIV Care Research Group led by Prof. Dr. Niklaus Labhardt (
www.swisstph.ch/en/projects/HIV-Care-Research-in-Lesotho), developed and implemented together with all partners of the research consortium: Swiss TPH, local Ministry of Health in the study districts, University of Basel and SolidarMed (Swiss NGO for Health in Africa, active in Lesotho for over 50 years; www.solidarmed.ch/en/countries/lesotho).

He has been living in Lesotho for more than two years, and has fallen in love with the country and its people.

 

Grants / Awards

  • 09/2019 - Grantee of the alternative HEMMI prize (10’000 CHF)
  • 04/2018 - Grantee of the 2018 CIPHER grant by the International AIDS Society (150’000 USD): GET ON IT (GETting tOwards Ninety In Teens) A two-part research project with one cluster-randomized controlled trial assessing targeted interventions to reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets among HIV-positive adolescents and young adults in rural Lesotho, Southern Africa.
  • 07/2017 - Grantee of the 3-year MD-PhD program by SNSF/SAMW (180’000 CHF): Supporting Lesotho on the way towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets: Operational and clinical research addressing HIV/AIDS care in resource-limited settings
  • 07/2017 - Grantee of AlumniMedizin Basel award (20’000 CHF)
  • 05/2017 - Grantee of the Janggen-Pöhn Foundation (39’500 CHF)

 

Amstutz A, Lejone T.I, Khesa L, Muhairwe J, Nsakala B.L, Tlali K, Bresser M, Tediosi F, Kopo M, Kao M, Klimkait T, Battegay M, Glass T.R, Labhardt N.D. VIBRA trial - effect of village-based refill of ART following home-based same-day ART initiation vs clinic-based ART refill on viral suppression among individuals living with HIV: protocol of a cluster-randomized clinical trial in rural Lesotho. Trials. 2019;20:522. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-019-3510-5

Amstutz A, Lejone T.I, Khesa L, Muhairwe J, Nsakala B.L, Tlali K, Bresser M, Vanobberghen F, Kopo M, Kao M, Klimkait T, Battegay M, Labhardt N.D, Glass T.R. The HOSENG trial - effect of the provision of oral self-testing for absent and refusing individuals during a door-to-door HIV-testing campaign on testing coverage: protocol of a cluster-randomized clinical trial in rural Lesotho. Trials. 2019;20:496. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-019-3469-2

Glass T.R, Motaboli L, Nsakala B, Lerotholi M, Vanobberghen F, Amstutz A, Lejone T.I, Muhairwe J, Klimkait T, Labhardt N.D. The viral load monitoring cascade in a resource-limited setting: a prospective multicentre cohort study after introduction of routine viral load monitoring in rural Lesotho. PLoS One. 2019;14(8):e0220337. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220337

Speich B, Schur N, Gryaznov D, von Niederhäusern B, Hemkens L.G, Schandelmaier S, Amstutz A, Kasenda B, Pauli-Magnus C, Ojeda-Ruiz E, Tomonaga Y, McCord K, Nordmann A, von Elm E, Briel M, Schwenkglenks M, MARTA and ASPIRE Study Groups. Resource use, costs, and approval times for planning and preparing a randomized clinical trial before and after the implementation of the new Swiss human research legislation. PLoS One. 2019;14(1):e0210669. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210669

Amstutz A, Nsakala B.L, Vanobberghen F, Muhairwe J, Glass T.R, Achieng B, Sepeka M, Tlali K, Sao L, Thin K, Klimkait T, Battegay M, Labhardt N.D. SESOTHO trial ("Switch Either near Suppression Or THOusand") - switch to second-line versus WHO-guided standard of care for unsuppressed patients on first-line ART with viremia below 1000 copies/mL: protocol of a multicenter, parallel-group, open-label, r. BMC Infect Dis. 2018;18:76. DOI: 10.1186/s12879-018-2979-y

Labhardt N.D, Ringera I, Lejone T.I, Klimkait T, Muhairwe J, Amstutz A, Glass T.R. Effect of offering same-day ART vs usual health facility referral during home-based HIV testing on linkage to care and viral suppression among adults with HIV in Lesotho: the CASCADE randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2018;319(11):1103-1112. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.1818