The Perinatal HIV Research was established in 1996, developing from the Perinatal HIV Clinic at the hospital, which has functioned since 1991. Professor Glenda Gray has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS in women and children for over ten years, and has been at the forefront of this field in South Africa. The Perinatal HIV Research Unit has been involved in research, training, policy formation and advocacy in issues concerning HIV-positive women and their children.
In recent years the work of the unit has expanded beyond the original focus of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, to include treatment trials in adults and children, prevention research, psychosocial research and policy development. In addition the unit has developed an HIV vaccine clinical trials unit (HVCTU) and started with HIV Vaccine Trials back on 2001.
The unit is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of research and policy in the area of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. It has also developed a reputation as a leading African research unit for clinical trials in adults and children with HIV, with one of the largest cohorts of adults enrolled in HIV pharmaceutical treatment trials in the developing world.
The Unit was one of eleven international HIVNET sites for HIV prevention research, and is an international site for the Paediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Group (PACTG). The unit is at the forefront of HIV vaccine research in South Africa, which has been identified as a priority by the government and is collaborating with both the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI). A TB and HIV research programme has been established in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University.
In February 2002, Professor Glenda Gray received the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for their outstanding dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the women and children in the Soweto Community.
The Perinatal HIV Research Unit is also involved in research activities contributing to provincial, national and international policy development in HIV issues.
Prof. Gray have worked as a consultant to the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS on perinatal transmission of HIV. The Directors of the unit participate in a number of international working groups on the subject and have presented at many international conferences.
Prof. Gray was an invited member of the Presidential Review Committee on AIDS and are members of the South African National AIDS Council Prevention Technical Task Team and both the National and Gauteng Provincial Steering Committees for MTCT prevention implementation.
Perinatal HIV Research Unit is one of Africa’s leading research centres, PHRU is situated at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital—known locally as ‘Bara’—in Soweto, Johannesburg. PHRU engages in research, training, policy-formulation and advocacy concerning HIV-positive people and their children.
Specifically, PHRU conducts adult, paediatric and adolescent HIV treatment research, HIV prevention research and investigations into tuberculosis and other HIV co-infections. In addition to the numerous pharmaceutical and publicly-funded clinical trials PHRU continues to carry out, the unit also conducts important behavioural and social science research, advocates for research access and provides needed care to the people of Soweto.Our Research: