India, Netherlands to conduct cohort studies on HIV patients
On the occasion of the visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to India, the two countries have decided to expand their existing cooperation in the area of large scale cohort studies with a Joint Cohort study on HIV patients in India.
"It is proposed that the joint cohort study will be carried out by various partners in both India and the Netherlands including Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), India, with support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," said an IAVI statement. The initiative will focus on establishing a collaborative framework to facilitate knowledge sharing for establishment of acute and chronically infected HIV cohorts, conducting of clinical studies and manufacturing of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to HIV-1 for their use in combination therapies, passive immunisation, and for designing preventive vaccines, according to the statement.
India, despite substantial progress in reducing incidences of HIV in the country still houses thirdhighest number of people (2.1 million) living with the disease. To reach ground zero HIV burden in the country, it is critical to fill gaps in the knowledge of how humans can defeat the virus as well reenergize research efforts to understand factors responsible for prevention and control of HIV infection and develop strategies for the same.
HIV research is an emerging programme priority for India with a goal to help identify tools and methods for disease detection, intervention, control, prevention and subsequent eradication.