The University of Stellenbosch

HIV Prevention Research

At the Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC), one of our focus areas is HIV Prevention research in adult populations. As part of research efforts, the DTTC has been working on several studies as part of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). The implementation of these trials requires close collaboration with a diverse range of local community and other stakeholders and robust institutional capacity across a broad range of competencies. The DTTC HIV prevention team are actively involved in national and international discussions regarding HIV prevention in high burden settings and we aim to continue to grow our impact in this area over the coming years. Most recently, the Centre has concluded the HPTN 071 study, The Population Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy to Reduce HIV Transmission (PopART): A cluster-randomized trial of the impact of a combination prevention package on population-level HIV incidence in Zambia and South Africa. The community randomised trial was one of the largest HIV studies ever completed. In 2018, the Centre also started with participant enrolment for the HPTN 084 (Life) study, a phase 3 double blind safety and efficacy study of long-acting injectable cabotegravir compared to daily oral TDF/FTC for pre-exposure prophylaxis in HIV-uninfected women.

In the spotlight:

  • In June 2018, the DTTC completed implementation of the South African component of the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial. PopART was conducted in 21 communities in South Africa and Zambia and accessed approximately 1 million individuals. The study purpose was to determine the impact of two community-level combination prevention packages, both of which include universal HIV testing and intensified provision of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) and care, on population-level HIV incidence.
  • The DTTC is currently implementing the HPTN 084 (Life) trial from a new community research site in Kuilsriver. HPTN 084 is a randomised control trial being conducted at 20 sites in sub-Saharan Africa and aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the injectable agent, cabotegravir (CAB LA) compared to daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC), for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in HIV-uninfected women.

Photo Credit: Kim Cloete