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Major grant awarded for HIV prevention study in Africa
Date:9/16/2011

A team of researchers led by Professor Richard Hayes at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been awarded $37 million to test an innovative combination of strategies to prevent HIV in African countries.

The project, called Population ART (PopART), will test the impact of a combination prevention strategy that combines community-wide house-to-house voluntary testing for HIV, offer of medical circumcision to men who test HIV-negative, and offer of immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all those testing HIV-positive.

Researchers from LSHTM and partners including Imperial College London, the Zambia AIDS Related Tuberculosis Project (ZAMBART) and the Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC), Stellenbosch University, South Africa will work closely on this trial with colleagues from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).

Part of the HPTN, the study (designated HPTN 071) has been funded jointly by organisations including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Office of the United States Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

An estimated 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV; with 2.5 new infections for every HIV-positive patient commencing ART, current approaches to treatment and prevention are struggling to contain the spread of the infection.

Unless the incidence of HIV can be steeply reduced, forecasts show a continuously growing number of HIV-infected individuals so that by 2030 about $35 billion per year will be needed to deliver ART to HIV-positive patients in these resource-limited settings.

Combination prevention approaches like PopART may be initially more expensive than current approaches, but estimates suggest that if HIV incidence is not reduced significantly, the financial impact of an ever increasing number of patients in need of treatment and ho
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Contact: Paula Fentiman
paula.fentiman@lshtm.ac.uk
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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