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US grants R40m to Stellenbosch University for HIV research

A R40m grant has been awarded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Stellenbosch University Professor Frank Tanser, a leading scientist in HIV research, to design future prevention strategies for severely affected rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Recent research by Tanser shows that South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.8m people currently living with the disease, reports News24.

The proposed research, The changing face of HIV in the era of Covid-19: Maximising HIV incidence reduction through dynamic targeting of current and future distributions of acquisition risk, would be used to inform the future implementation of HIV-prevention programmes, said the professor, adding that Covid-19 had severely disrupted HIV care.

The university will lead the research, involving scientists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Africa Health Research Institute, and the Universities of Lincoln, Heidelberg, Washington, Cincinnati and New York.

“We are extremely honoured to have been awarded this grant from the NHI,” said Tanser. “Our HIV surveillance site in rural South Africa is one of the only settings in the world where we can measure, with a high degree of accuracy, dynamic changes in the burden of new infections.”

He said the HIV epidemic was rapidly changing, and existing intervention strategies would need to evolve to keep up with the changing dynamics.

 

News24 article – Stellenbosch University awarded R40m grant by US for HIV-prevention programmes (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Studies find new HIV incidence falling in some SA communities

 

TB clusters show where HIV treatment is missing in South Africa

 

New HIV map offers most detailed look yet at the epidemic

 

Difficult to eliminate HIV with only straightforward treatment – study

 

 

 

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