Statement by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah in Support of South African-Led HIV Prevention Research

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

Durban, South Africa - USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah released the following statement today:

"Today, I congratulate the Government of South Africa, in partnership with South Africa's Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health, on their decision to fund a confirmatory trial of 1% tenofovir gel. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to announce our intent to join in the funding of this important research. Given the success and landmark findings from the CAPRISA 004 trial, we believe this is an exciting partnership between our two governments and reflects the larger cooperation between the United States - through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and in accordance with President Obama's Global Health Initiative - and South Africa to address the AIDS epidemic.

The trial, called the Follow-on African Consortium for Tenofovir Studies (FACTS) 001, is tentatively scheduled to last up to 25 months and will be conducted by a newly created South African-initiated and led consortium established to develop and conduct follow-on research on whether tenofovir gel can protect women against HIV infection. The consortium, based at WRHI (formerly RHRU and ECHO) in Johannesburg and including seven research institutions, will be led by three South African scientists from the University of Witwatersrand and the Medical Research Council - all of whom are women. The consortium will be supported by CONRAD, an international research group headquartered in the U.S.

This initiative is a prime example of successful country ownership and South Africa's prioritization of donor supported activities within the context of their own goals and aspirations for global health.

USAID is committed to providing new HIV prevention options to vulnerable women and girls across the world, particularly those in low-resource settings. Women bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic, making it absolutely essential that attention be placed on developing effective prevention methods that are both women-initiated and controlled. We believe confirming tenofovir gel's effectiveness and obtaining regulatory approval is a fundamental and essential step in that direction, and we look forward to supporting South Africa's leadership in this endeavor."

For more information, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/TechAreas/research/microbfactsheet.html

Last updated: March 19, 2014

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