Today, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced awards for a new initiative totaling $45 million over four years to examine the effectiveness of combination approaches to HIV prevention. These evaluations of combination prevention will be the largest and most robust to date. Data gathered will help partner countries to strengthen their efforts to prevent new infections and save lives.
To quickly build an evidence base, PEPFAR will support three awards. With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will partner with the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network to examine a strategy linking household-based HIV testing to universal community-based HIV treatment in Zambia and South Africa. The Harvard School of Public Health will receive funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate the impact on HIV incidence of expanding population coverage of an integrated set of HIV prevention interventions in Botswana. Through an existing USAID award, Johns Hopkins University will evaluate the impact of an integrated set of biomedical, behavioral and structural prevention interventions to reduce HIV incidence in the Iringa region of Tanzania.
Combination prevention uses a suite of mutually reinforcing interventions to address the risks of HIV transmission and acquisition as thoroughly and strategically as possible. Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, commented, “In light of recent research establishing the preventive effect of antiretroviral treatment, antiretroviral-based interventions will be a key component of the combination approaches studied.”
The evaluations will be critical to U.S. efforts to maximize the impact and efficiency of investments in order to save as many lives as possible. The studies will begin in 2011 and 2012, and implementation and evaluation will be coordinated by a linked to the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board. This coordinated approach will help address critical research questions in a timely fashion. For additional information, please visit the following links: