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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

July 26, 2002

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CIPRA Award Supports HIV/AIDS Research in South Africa

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded a Comprehensive International Program for Research on AIDS (CIPRA) grant to the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. The award totals nearly $11 million for five years to support a collaboration of South African investigators conducting research on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The collaboration is known as the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

The program’s principal investigator is Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim, Ph.D., Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development at the University of Natal. Dr. Abdool Karim will lead a team of scientists from the Universities of Natal, Cape Town and Western Cape, South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases, AngloGold American's Aurum Health Research Unit, and a U.S. academic partner, Columbia University in New York.

CIPRA grants are awarded to developing countries to help strengthen their HIV/AIDS research infrastructure and increase their capacity for research into promising methods of HIV prevention and treatment. In South Africa, the award will support CAPRISA’s three major goals:

  • To undertake globally relevant and locally responsive prevention and treatment research that contributes to understanding HIV pathogenesis, evolving epidemiology, and developing strategies for AIDS care provision in resource-constrained settings;
  • To build local research infrastructure and capacity in virology, immunology, clinical infectious diseases, bioinformatics, epidemiology and biostatistics; and
  • To enhance and strengthen the critical mass of skilled researchers in South Africa, particularly young scientists from historically disadvantaged communities, through well-established training links with Columbia University.

Plans for CAPRISA’s first year include two projects: a study of people with acute infection with HIV sub-type C, the strain of HIV commonly found in southern Africa, and a clinical trial to determine the best time when to begin anti-retroviral therapy (ARV) for patients co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis.

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., said, “This award will draw together many of South Africa’s finest researchers to conduct critical studies on the treatment of HIV and tuberculosis, as well as basic research that will lay the foundation for future AIDS clinical trials. In addition, this project complements other ongoing AIDS research in South Africa supported by NIAID, such as the clinical centers working with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the HIV Prevention Trials Network.”

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.

Last Updated July 26, 2002