500 participants from Zimbabwe have led participation to represent the first country in the Sub-Saharan region to complete the successful enrollment of participants who are taking part in the ongoing large-scale HIV vaccine efficacy trials which are currently underway in four continents, covering 12 countries with about 12,699 study participants on board.
Zimbabwe has 500 participants in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) 705, also known as Imbokodo, and the Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) studies, which seek to find a lasting solution to a safe and effective HIV vaccine.
The trial is being conducted at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health and Clinical Trials Research Centre by Dr. Stranix Chibanda. Called the HVTN705, or Imbokodo, which means rock in Zulu. The name was derived from a popular African proverb “Wathint’ abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo!” translated to “You strike the women, you strike the rock!” in recognition of the strength women show in the face of challenges.
The vaccine is being administered in women in Africa with 2,637 health HIV negative women aged 18-35 years drawn from Zimbabwe and the neighboring countries helping in moving ahead with the trials.
About University of Zimbabwe College of Health and Clinical Trials Research
Also known as UZCHS-CTRC, it was established in 1994 with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to implement high quality science addressing HIV prevention and therapy; its aim is to control Zimbabwe’s HIV/AIDs epidemic and contribute to global policy as a center of excellence under the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences in collaboration with UCSF and its partner institutions.
Over the past 20 years, the program has developed a governance structure built on principles of inclusiveness and collaboration of scientific, community and administrative functions, coupled with efficiency and transparency in resource allocation.
Clinical Trials Unit
The Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) is a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Division of AIDS (DAIDS) funded program implemented at UZCHS-CTRC, in collaboration with UCSF. The primary goal of the CTU is to carry out the clinical research plans of DAIDS HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks. To date they have collaborated with the following five networks:
- AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) for clinical management of HIV/AIDS, including co-infections and other HIV-related conditions, and translational research for new drug development
- HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) for non-vaccine HIV prevention strategies
- HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) for vaccine HIV prevention strategies
- International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group (IMPAACT) for prevention of mother-to- child transmission and clinical management of HIV, including co-morbidities and other HIV-related conditions in children, adolescents and pregnant women
- Microbicides Trials Network (MTN) for microbicides for HIV prevention