|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Wednesday, July 12, 2000
3:00 a.m. EST
DHHS On-Site Office
Tom LaSalvia (in Durban)
Gregory Roa (in U.S.)
NIH Announces New International Network to Study HIV Prevention Strategies
- drugs and/or vaccines that are practical and easy to use
to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission;
- microbicides, substances designed for vaginal or rectal
use, to prevent sexual transmission of the virus;
- interventions to reduce behavior that exposes people to
- programs to check the spread of HIV through reducing
intravenous drug abuse;
- measures to control other sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs) and thereby decrease the risk of co-infection with HIV;
- antiretroviral therapy that may protect high-risk
uninfected adults before they are exposed to HIV, as well as emergency
therapy to treat victims of sexual assault.
HPTN researchers will conduct clinical trials of a broad array of promising
interventions for HIV, alone and in combination. In addition, HPTN
scientists will explore fundamental questions about the virus and factors
related to the risk and mechanics of HIV infection in the context of testing
promising intervention strategies.
Previously, NIAID's HIV prevention research program was centered in the HIV
Network for Prevention Trials (HIVNET), made up of domestic and
international organizations. HIVNET investigators competed with other
scientists worldwide in applying for inclusion in the HPTN through a
peer-reviewed evaluation process.
"HIVNET's studies set a high standard of scientific and medical excellence
from which the HPTN will evolve and expand into new areas," explains Jack
Killen, M.D., director of NIAID's Division of AIDS. HIVNET researchers
achieved several breakthrough discoveries, such as demonstrating the
effectiveness of a simple regimen, using the low-cost drug nevirapine, to
prevent mother-to-infant HIV infection. Another HIVNET study identified
viral load in a person's blood as a critical factor governing the likelihood
of heterosexual HIV transmission, suggesting that strategies which lower
this level may play a role in prevention. "The HPTN will include many of
the most experienced and talented HIV prevention experts around the world."
The hub of the new network comprises 1) the Core Group/Operations Center,
led by Ward Cates, M.D., M.P.H., of Family Health International in North
Carolina's Research Triangle Park; 2) the Central Laboratory, headed by
Johns Hopkins University investigator Brooks Jackson, M.D., in Baltimore;
and 3) the Statistical and Data Coordinating Center, led by Thomas Fleming,
Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
According to Dr. Cates, "The HPTN establishes a strong foundation of
scientific collaboration among the world's leaders in HIV prevention
research. This will be an exciting environment in which we can do truly
progressive studies with a potential public health impact worldwide."
The following investigators will lead the U.S. sites participating in the
- University of Alabama at Birmingham - Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D.
- Los Angeles County Department of Health - Peter Kerndt, M.D., M.P.H.
- University of California Los Angeles - Yvonne J. Bryson, M.D.
- University of California San Francisco - Tsungai Chipato, MBChB
- Yale University, New Haven - Robert Ryder, M.D.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore - Robert C. Bollinger, M.D., M.P.H.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore - David Celentano, Sc.D., M.P.H.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore - Laura Guay, M.D.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore - J. Brooks Jackson, M.D., M.B.A.
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore - Taha E. Taha, M.D., Ph.D.
- Fenway Community Health, Boston - Kenneth H. Mayer, M.D.
- Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston - Wafaie Fawzi, M.D.,
- Columbia University Health Sciences, New York - Maria Wawer, M.D.
- Columbia University Health Sciences, New York - Wafaa El-Sadr, M.D.,
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia - David Metzger, Ph.D.
- Harborview Medical Center, Seattle - Connie Celum, M.D., M.P.H.
The following investigators will lead the international sites participating
in the HPTN:
- Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre - George Liomba, M.D.
- South African Medical Research Council, Durban - Salim Karim, MBChB,
- Muhimbili University, College of Health Sciences, Dar Es Salaam -
Gernard Msamanga, M.D., DSc.
- Makerere University School of Medicine, Kampala - Francis Mmiro, MBChB
- Makerere University School of Medicine, Kampala - Nelson Sewankambo,
- Lusaka District Health Board and University Teaching Hospital - Moses
Sinkala, M.D./Chewe Lou, M.D., MSc.
- University of Zimbabwe, Harare - Tsungai Chipato, MBChB
- National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control, Beijing - Yiming Shao,
- IHI/YRG Care, Chennai - Suniti Solomon, M.D.
- National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune - Sanjay M. Mehendale,
M.D., MBBS, M.P.H.
- Chiang Mai University - Chirasak Khamboonruang, M.D., Ph.D.
- St. Petersburg State University - Andrei Kozlov, Ph.D.
- Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima - Jorge Sanchez, M.D.,
In addition, NIAID anticipates establishing a site in Brazil within the next
NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID
conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such
as HIV disease and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis,
malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available
on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is a component of
the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human