TREAT Asia Joins Effort to Chart Global Spread of HIV/AIDS
U.S. Government Grant Supports Expansion of Observational Database
July 2006–TREAT Asia has been selected by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to join an international collaboration to study global trends in the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
TREAT Asia will receive a grant of US$3.2 million over five years to manage the Asia/Pacific section of the International Epidemiologic Data-bases to Evaluate AIDS (IEDEA), an ambitious new initiative to be coordinated by NIAID. The forthcoming grant will be the second largest to be awarded to TREAT Asia.
New support for TREAT Asia's database presents the network with "a fantastic opportunity" to further its observational research, according to Dr. Matthew Law, head of the Statistical Centre at Australia's University of New South Wales.
The new TREAT Asia grant will be managed under the leadership of principal investigator Dr. David A. Cooper of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The Centre houses both the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database (TAHOD) and the Australian HIV Observational Database (AHOD). Together, the two databases have already amassed anonymous data from more than 6,000 HIV/AIDS patients. The IEDEA project will involve combining the two databases into a new entity known as the Australian Pacific HIV Observational Database (APHOD).
“The AIDS epidemic in Asia is rapidly engulfing the region and it is crucial that we actively study the trends so that better tools to fight this disease can be developed,” said Kevin Frost, director of TREAT Asia. “We are pleased to contribute to this international effort by utilizing TAHOD in partnership with AHOD. Together, these databases allow us to make an important contribution to the understanding of global trends in HIV/AIDS.”
The purpose of the IEDEA initiative is to create a global database large enough to allow detailed study of the spread of HIV infection worldwide and to identify trends in the use and efficacy of HIV treatments in different regions. The APHOD network will monitor data from more than 6,000 patients at 41 sites, collecting information on antiretroviral drug regimens, reported side effects, and how the treatments are affecting overall health and survival.
“By providing funding for TAHOD to develop further observational research on HIV disease, treatment, and outcomes in the Asian region, the IEDEA grant represents an important recognition of TAHOD’s and AHOD’s success and it offers us a fantastic opportunity,” said Dr. Matthew Law, head of the Statistical Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. “We’re very excited by the chance to collaborate with similar observational studies in Africa and North and South America.”
Funding from the IEDEA grant has not yet been disbursed but is expected in the near future.
“The AIDS epidemic in Asia is rapidly engulfing the region and it is crucial that we actively study the trends so that better tools to fight this disease can be developed.”