South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


HIV Prevention Research Unit


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Current Projects 

HPRU has undertaken numerous clinical trials over the past 15 years. The Unit currently has six established clinical research sites in the greater Durban area which are approved by the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) and equipped to run large-scale clinical trials. The Unit was the only centre globally to test four out of five microbicide products in five Phase III and 3 Phase II/IIb advanced microbicides clinical trials. The excellent work produced by HPRU gave the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the confidence to award it one of the largest grants outside of the USA to undertake HIV prevention research.

Summary of studies conducted by HPRU in the period 2004 - current

2017 -
Alight Botswana: Increasing Participation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Gender-based Violence Prevention Programmes in Botswana



2004 - 2007

CONRAD: Randomized Controlled Trial of 6% Cellulose Sulfate Gel and the Effect on Vaginal HIV Transmission (Phase III)

2004 - 2008

Phase III Study of the Efficacy and Safety of the Microbicide Carraguard® in Preventing HIV Seroconversion in Women

2004 - 2008

MIRA: Provider’s Perceptions of the Diaphragm (Phase III)

2005 - 2009

MDP 301 PHASE III: An international multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 0.5% and 2% PRO 2000/5 gels for the prevention of vaginally acquired HIV infection

2012 – ongoing

MTN 020: A Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase III Safety and Effectiveness Trial of a Vaginal Matrix Ring Containing Dapivirine for the Prevention of HIV-1 Infection in Women

2014 - 2015

SALIF: A Phase 3b, Randomised, Open-label Clinical Study to Demonstrate Non-inferiority in Virologic Response Rates of HIV-1 RNA Suppression <400 Copies/mL of TDF/FTC/RPV Versus TDF/FTC/EFV in First-line Antiretroviral NNRTI-based Suppressed Patients


2004 - 2009

HPTN 035: Phase II/IIb Safety and Effectiveness Study of the Vaginal Microbicides BufferGel and 0.5% PRO 2000/5 Gel for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Women

2009 - 2012

MTN 001: Phase II Adherence and Pharmacokinetics Study of Oral and Vaginal Preparations of Tenofovir

2009 - 2013

MTN 003: Phase IIB Safety and Effectiveness Study of Tenofovir 1% Gel, Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Tablet and Emtricitabine/ Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate Tablet for the Prevention of HIV infection in Women


2007 - 2010

IPM 011 Phase I: A safety and Acceptability Study of a Vaginal Ring Microbicide Delivery Method for the Prevention of HIV infection in Women


2005 - 2010

SPARTAC: A Multi-centre Randomised Trial of Therapeutic Intervention at Primary HIV-1 Infection

2008 - 2009

Novartis: a randomized, multicenter, double-blind study to compare the efficacy of single-day treatment with famciclovir compared to that of placebo in patient-initiated treatment of recurrent genital herpes in immune competent black patients


2002 - 2004

MDP Feasibility: A Feasibility Study in Preparation for Phase III Microbicide Trials among Women Attending Postnatal and Family-Planning Clinics in Tongaat and Verulam Health Clinics

2003 - 2005

HPTN 055: HIV Prevention Preparedness Study

2009 - ongoing

MTN 015: An Observational Cohort Study of Women following HIV-1 Seroconversion in Microbicide Trials

2010 - ongoing

MTN 016: Evaluation of Maternal and Baby Outcome Registry after Chemoprophylactic Exposure (EMBRACE)

2010 - 2012

MTN 009: Prevalence of HIV-1 Drug Resistance within a Female Screening Population for HIV Prevention Trials


2005 - 2009

Acceptability and Feasibility of Diaphragm:  for use in HIV Prevention and Trial Experience: A Social Science component of the MIRA Trial

2005 - 2010

Implementation and Evaluation of a Peer Education Programme in Communities

2006 - 2009

Microbicides Acceptability: A Qualitative study to explore social and cultural norms, interpersonal relations and product attributes

2007 - 2008

MIRA: Provider’s Perceptions of the Diaphragm (Phase II)

2007 - 2008

Assessment of access to healthcare by HIV sero-converters (sub-study of PC)

2007 - 2008

ACASI: Assessing the reporting of Sensitive Behaviours in Microbicide Trials

2007 - 2009

MIRA: Standard of Care: Community Referral Impact Evaluation

2008 - 2009

Pathways Feasibility Study: A study of depression and psychosocial needs amongst women accessing the HIV Prevention Research Unit clinical trials in KwaZulu Natal

2010 - 2012

MDP Top Up: A study to determine the feasibility of conducting a microbicide trial of daily vaginal gel and to inform the way adherence should be assessed

2010 - 2013

Pathways to Engagement in HIV Care for Newly Diagnosed South Africans

2012 - ongoing

MTN 003D: An Exploratory Study of Potential Sources of Efficacy Dilution in the VOICE Trial

2012 - ongoing

MTN 020 Qualitative Study (component of MTN 020)


2012 - 2013

PIMA study: The accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of rapid point-of-care (POC) testing for CD4 counts and TB diagnosis.

2013 - 2014

TB LAMP study: To test the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of pulmonary M. tuberculosis (TB) infection.

2014 - 2017

CTX study: Randomized control trial testing the effects of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and mortality outcomes in breastfed HIV- exposed uninfected infants

2013 - 2015

Wellness programme: The improvement of health systems through a research agenda and capacity development of personnel

2015 - 2017

ELITE CONTROLLER study: South African elite and long term controllers: viral and host targets for HIV functional cure strategies

2011 - 2014

KIR: HLA study: The evaluation of KIR: HLA genes in HIV-1 Clade C infection :key components to HIV vaccine design

2014 - 2015

TDR study: Transmitted Drug Resistance In KwaZulu Natal

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Last updated:
8 November, 2017
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