The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of KwaZulu-Natal yesterday announced their plans to establish a new Durban-based centre for research on the interrelated epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis.
This is made possible by a R600 million international investment and construction on the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV which will commence in September.
South Africa was chosen as the base of this project because it is the centre of the Aids epidemic and because a third of people with HIV/TB are based here. As many as 40% of the KwaZulu-Natal population is HIV/positive.
The focus of the new institute will be on the following four areas:
- The development of rapid and more effective diagnostic tests for TB.
- The charting of genotypes and phenotypes of MDR- and XDR-TB.
- Analysing the immunity's complex reaction against TB in HIV-positive people.
- Studying people with HIV/Aids who repeatedly get TB.
(Elsabé Brits/Die Burger, March 2009)