HIV Research Factsheet
Since 2001 KEMRI/CDC has been carrying out HIV/AIDS research within Kenya. The HIV Research Branch (HIVR) is based in Nyanza Province which has the highest HIV prevalence of any province in Kenya, at 14.9%. HIVR activities are carried out in Kisumu, Nyando, Vihiga and Nandi Districts and within the KEMRI/CDC Demographic Surveillance Area in Bondo and Siaya Districts. The HIV Research Branch is affiliated with CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, and is distinct from, but works in partnership with, CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS which supports HIV programs throughout Nyanza Province.
Clinical Research Center (CRC) at New Nyanza Provincial General Hospital
The CRC has been created to support clinical trials, especially in HIV prevention and treatment. . The HIVR staff who are based at CRC are trained in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices (GCLP), and have extensive experience in clinical trials as well as community mobilization. Quantitative data is collected at the CRC through use of teleforms, Audio Computer Assisted Self Interview (ACASI), Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI), Memory Caps and Netbooks. Qualitative data is collected using audio tape recorders and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
HIV Research Laboratory
There are two HIV Research laboratory facilities; one in Kisumu at the CRC and the other in Kisian at the KEMRI/CDC Field Station campus. The laboratories support clinical trials, other HIVR studies, and Division of Global HIV/AIDS Program activities. The laboratory facilities have received accreditation from International Organization for Standardization through the South African National Accreditation Scheme (SANAS) and certification from the Kenyan Medical Laboratory Technology and Technician Board (KMLTTB). Such accreditation is rare and testifies to the capacity and quality of the HIVR Lab. The Lab has taken a lead in early infant diagnosis for HIV using dried blood spots. The lab has trained people from labs in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon and Nigeria in this technique. It is the only research lab in the country that is currently able to do genotypic HIV drug resistance sequencing.
HIV Incidence Cohort Study (KICoS)
KICoS was launched in January 2007 with the goal of preparing the KEMRI/CDC Kisumu site for future trials of biomedical HIV interventions. The target population for this study is HIV-uninfected adolescents and young adults who are residents of peri-urban Kisumu. Participants are seen every 3 months for 12 months and during each visit, clinical assessment, HIV rapid testing, sexually-transmitted infection testing, pre- and post-test counseling, risk-reduction counseling and a self-administered computerized behavioral risk questionnaire are carried out. KICoS has demonstrated higher rates of new HIV infections among females than males, especially among 15-17 year olds, and in the future the site aims to perform novel biomedical HIV intervention trials, especially of HIV vaccines, microbicides and pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Evaluating Acute and Recent HIV Infection Longitudinally (EARLY)
A longitudinal cohort study of people who recently acquired HIV is being initiated in order to provide insight into the biologic events of early HIV infection in order to develop better diagnostic tests and future prevention methodologies (including vaccines). The EARLY study will run from 2011-2015.