HIV research gets a boost

29 January 2007 | Story by Daniella Pollock

The Faculty of Health Sciences has received two substantial grants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research in HIV prevention and HIV treatment.

Both grants involve the Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit (IDEU) of the School of Public Health & Family Medicine, as well as the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre (DTHC) in the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM). A five-year grant of R2.8-million per year was awarded to the IDEU to co-ordinate the Southern African component of the International Epidemiological Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IEDEA) programme.

This project will compile data from selected antiretroviral therapy (ART) services from across South and Southern Africa, and analyse this data to identify characteristics associated with improved outcomes for HIV-infected individuals receiving ART.

The second, a seven-year grant, totalling more than R6-million a year, was awarded to the DTHC to lead the Cape Town Clinical Trials Unit, a member of the NIH-funded global network of sites to conduct clinical trials for HIV prevention and treatment. These clinical trials will take place at sites in Nyanga (for HIV vaccine trials) and Gugulethu (for HIV prevention trials using microbicides).

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