|Clinical HIV Research Unit|
The Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU), headed by Prof Ian Sanne, is a strategic founding partner of Right to Care, a syndicate of the Wits Health Consortium and a research unit of the Department of Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand.
CHRU provides Right to Care with technical expertise and assistance, training of health care personnel, quality assurance assessments of sites, and clinical support services. In addition, Right to Care provides funding for patients who have difficulty accessing antiretroviral treatment through the national programme.
CHRU also accesses funding for antiretroviral therapy to ensure the ethical conduct of research in HIV prevention and treatment trials. This is achieved by providing antiretroviral therapy to patients who have come off treatment trials (funded by the National Institutes of Health or by the pharmaceutical industry). Antiretroviral therapy is also provided to patients who become infected during HIV-prevention trials conducted in the community, such as circumcision, microbicides, vaccine, and behavioural research studies.
The research focus of the CHRU in the last year continues to address the evidence required to support the current guidelines for antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment. As part of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), research is being conducted to optimise the use of antiretroviral therapy in a resource-poor setting. Prevention trials using antiretroviral therapy are being conducted as part of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).
CHRU has developed an epidemiology research team which is rapidly expanding, targeting the evaluation of treatment outcomes, disease progression, and co-infections of TB, HHV8, HPV, HBV, and other opportunistic infections.
CHRU has formed a number of international collaborations with Boston University’s School for International and Public Health, University of North Carolina’s School for International Health, and the Wistar Institute’s Immunology Division.