The public health importance of HIV and sexually transmitted infections within Africa
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including those caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) types 1 and 2, remain a major public health problem in Africa. Published estimates of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS show that South Africa has the highest burden of HIV infections with recent estimates of 7.7 million people living with HIV.
The Centre for HIV and STIs (CHIVSTI) has a strong track record in the research disciplines of HIV virology, HIV immunology, HIV/STI epidemiology, HIV/STI diagnostics and HIV-STI interactions.
CHIVSTI addresses the challenges of HIV and STI diseases through various programmes:
- Surveillance of disease burden and antimicrobial resistance;
- Measurement of endpoint infections and detection;
- Broadly neutralising antibodies as part of prophylactic HIV vaccine and antibody-mediated protection clinical trials;
- Exploring an HIV “cure” strategy; and
- Development and implementation of reference diagnostics and implementation science.
CHIVSTI consists of four sections:
- HIV Virology;
- Cell Biology;
- HIV Molecular and Serology;
- Sexually Transmitted Infections section.
The centre provides a suitable academic environment for successful supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students and fellows. The centre has well-established links and collaborations with various key national and international organisations in the field of HIV and STIs.