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SA institutions named as HIV/AIDS clinical trials units.

Four South African institutions, the Medical Research Council, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Wits HIV Research Group and Wits Health Consortium, have been named by the US-based National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as HIV/ AIDS clinical trials units (CTUs). These are among 60 US and international institutions that have been selected and that through the NIAID HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks--AIDS Clinical Trials Group, HIV Prevention Trials Network, HIV Vaccine Trials Network, International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network, International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials, and Microbicide Trials Network--will participate in research to address the highest priorities in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Among these are developing a safe and effective HIV vaccine, translating lab findings into clinical applications through new drug development, optimising clinical management of HIV/AIDS, including co-infections and other HIV-related conditions, developing microbicides to prevent HIV acquisition and transmission, and creating strategies to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.

In addition to the CTUs across the US, others are in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru and Switzerland. With additional funding over the next few months the number is expected to increase to 73, with additional CTUs anticipated in Brazil, China, France, India and Thailand.

The selection process for the CTUs involved a rigorous and extensive scientific peer review of their proposed clinical programmes and capabilities, including access to populations most affected or threatened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly women, children, adolescents and people of diverse ethnic or racial backgrounds.

Total funding for the clinical trials networks and the CTUs and their affiliated clinical research sites is expected to reach $285 million during the first year of the awards.

In addition to the CTU locations, clinical research sites are also anticipated in Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among other countries.

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Title Annotation:NEWS; South Africa
Publication:South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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