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Study of early HIV infection begins enrollment

Active recruitment and enrollment of volunteers has now started at research sites in Lusaka, Zambia; Masaka, Uganda; Kigali, Rwanda; and Kangemi, Kenya for a multi-centre, epidemiological study of newly HIV-infected individuals being conducted by IAVI. Volunteers who were recently infected with HIV through incidental exposure were identified through participation in incidence studies where they were counseled on risk-reduction practices and tested for HIV at least four times a year.

This new study will track these HIV-infected individuals for up to five years to follow the natural course of HIV infection in these cohorts. All volunteers will receive counseling and care and will be referred to a program offering antiretroviral (ARV) treatment when needed. Investigators will analyze samples of the newly-transmitted virus and evaluate early disease progression. Data from this study could help AIDS vaccine researchers in the design of new preventive vaccine candidates (see Primer, this issue).

The IAVI research study will also begin recruiting recently HIV-infected volunteers at other sites in Entebbe, Uganda; Cape Town, South Africa; and Kilifi, Kenya. Other groups, including the recently established Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), are studying individuals during the earliest stages of acute HIV infection. Links between these efforts and the IAVI-led research studies have already been established.

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All articles written by Kristen Jill Kresge