Public Release: 

Award will boost HIV/AIDS research in China

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded a Comprehensive International Program for Research on AIDS (CIPRA) grant to China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The new grant -- the first multi-project CIPRA -- will strengthen China's HIV/AIDS research infrastructure and increase its capacity for research into promising methods of HIV prevention and treatment. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson made the announcement today during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese Health Minister Zhang Wenkang to promote enhanced U.S.-China cooperation on HIV/AIDS prevention and research. The Washington D.C. ceremony was also attended by NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Research efforts in the $14.8 million, five-year-long undertaking will be led by Chinese principal investigator Yiming Shao, M.D. Five interrelated projects, touching on a range of HIV-related questions, will be funded:

  • epidemiologic and transmission factors in HIV/AIDS
  • behavioral interventions to prevent HIV transmission
  • pathogenesis of the virus
  • safety and efficacy of anti-HIV drugs
  • HIV/AIDS vaccine development

The epidemiologic and behavioral intervention program will take place in the Yunnan and Shanxi provinces. Clinical and laboratory studies will be performed in collaboration with several institutions, including the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Institute of Virology in Beijing, the Medical Primate Center of China, and at Nankai University in Tianjin. The Chinese team has also engaged consultants on HIV/AIDS from the United States who will collaborate on the design and implementation of the research.

CIPRA provides long-term support for HIV/AIDS research to resource-limited countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America where up to 90 percent of new HIV infections occur. To control the global pandemic, inexpensive, effective, and logistically simple measures of HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention are urgently needed. In many countries with high rates of HIV/AIDS, the baseline clinical data and research infrastructure needed to accurately characterize the epidemic are lacking. CIPRA tackles this problem by providing long-term support, including training, tailored to the specific needs of the recipient country. It is hoped that the research conducted under the auspices of CIPRA will form the foundation for successful clinical trials of candidate treatments and vaccines for HIV/AIDS.

CIPRA provides three levels of support designed to match applicants' varying research capabilities: two-year grants for planning and organization of studies; grants for exploratory and developmental research; and multi-project research grants. The initial five CIPRA planning and organization grants, awarded in 2001, went to investigators in Peru, China, the Russian Federation, Trinidad and Zambia. More information about CIPRA is available at


NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.