Southern Africa is the region most heavily affected by the HIV epidemic. Of the 35 million adults and children living with HIV worldwide, about 13 million are from southern Africa. The region continues to be the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with about 33% of the world’s new HIV infections among adults, 20% of new infections among children, and 30% of AIDS-related deaths (UNAIDS).
The past decade has seen a massive expansion of antiretroviral treatment (ART), largely due to efforts by governments and international partners. In July 2015, UNAIDS announced that the goal of instituting life-saving HIV treatment in 15 million people by 2015 had been met nine months early. In some countries in southern Africa the number of people starting ART now exceeds the number acquiring HIV.
Operational, clinical, and public health research is urgently needed to guide the long-term delivery of HIV care and ART to the many patients in need. ISPM Bern’s HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis research group conducts this research within the International epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) research consortium, established in 2005 by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to provide a rich resource for globally diverse HIV/AIDS data.
The IeDEA Cohort Consortium collaborates to collect and define key variables, harmonize data, and implement methodology to effectively pool data, providing a cost-effective means of generating large data sets to address high-priority research questions and streamline HIV/AIDS research.
IeDEA collects HIV/AIDS data from seven international regional data centers, including four in Africa and one each in the Asia-Pacific region, the Central/South America/Caribbean region, and North America. These regional data centers consolidate, curate, and analyze data on care and treatment of HIV to evaluate the outcomes of people living with HIV/AIDS. Within IeDEA, the research group in Bern coordinates and leads the work conducted in the Southern Africa region (IeDEA SA).
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