Research charities help marry two major South African HIV/tuberculosis institutes
The new Africa Health Research Institute, backed by the deep-pocketed U.K.-based Wellcome Trust and the equally flush U.S.-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), plans to connect basic research to population-level studies and clinical trials. “This is something very strong,” says Bruce Walker, an immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who is an HHMI investigator.
Many fundamental questions remain about why HIV spreads so fiercely in South Africa, which has more people infected with the AIDS virus than any country in the world. South Africa also has a huge burden of TB, caused by a mycobacterium that thrives in an HIV-compromised immune system, and badly needs both better diagnostics to detect cases and more effective treatments to combat widespread multidrug-resistant TB strains.
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