Study participants in various study cohorts are offered ongoing clinical care and monitoring. Participants also receive regular feedback on the status of their HIV infection through monitoring of their CD4 levels and viral loads. All study participants receive free counselling and support from dedicated and experienced doctors, nursing staff and counsellors. Once ready for treatment, participants are referred to the government sector for initiation of antiretroviral therapy according the South African government national guidelines.

There are a number of studies taking place at HPP under various investigators. The seven main studies are the Masibambisane study, the Acute Infection study, the Chronic Infection study, the STI study, the FRESH study, the PSP study, and the Gateway study (described below).




    Title: Characterisation of the evolution of adaptive immune responses in acute HIV clade C virus infection

    Aims and objectives: 
    - Recruit and follow up a cohort of people with documented evidence of primary HIV C clade infection
    - Provide clinical and laboratory framework to characterize immunological and virological responses that occur early in the course of HIV
    - Identify immunologic and virologic factors that influence disease progression


    Title: Augmentation of HIV-specific T cell immunity by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) instituted in acute paediatric HIV infection followed by supervised treatment interruptions (STI)

    Aims and Objectives:
    - To investigate the immunodominant HIV-specific Cytotoxic T-cell Lymphocytes (CTL) responses directed through HLA class I molecules prevalent in C-clade infected persons
    - To compare the magnitude and functional activity of CTL to defined epitopes in mothers and children
    - To evaluate the significance of epitope sequence variation in relation to vaccine design
    - To evaluate specific immune responses to other chronic infections


    Title: Females Rising through Education, Support, and Health (FRESH) Study; Establishment and long-term follow-up of a cohort of HIV negative women in Umlazi, South Africa

    Aims and Objectives:

    - Define the prevalence and incidence of HIV infection, amongst high risk women from Umlazi, KZN, South Africa

    - Assess ability to establish and retain a cohort of high risk HIV-negative women, and achieve high rates of adherence to a study protocol requiring very frequent (twice weekly) follow-up for a minimum of 24-months.

    - Identify acute HIV-1 infections (AHI) within the cohort, with at least 30% of AHI captured within Fiebig stages I and II (prior to advent of detectable antibiody), to support the detailed characterization of host responses and viral dynamics.


    Title: Impact of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Class I Alleles on Immune Control of Paediatric Infection

    Aims and Objectives:

    To determine:

    - The impact of host genetics, in particular HLA class I alleles, on paediatric HIV disease  progression;

    - The impact of the host immune response against HIV, in particular the CD8+ T-cell responses; 

    - Differences between adults and children in immune-mediated control of HIV.


    Title: Impact of recent HIV infection in a study cohort of postnatal mothers

    Aims and Objectives:

    - To determine the extent and rate of HIV adaptation at the population level over a decade in a locality where HIV incidence has been persistently high

    - To determine the impact of recent infection by an adapted virus on immune responses and immune control of HIV

    - To determine the incidence and impact of recent infection in mothers who test seronegative in pregnancy and become HIV infected in the 12-24 months following antenatal testing

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