amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TREAT Asia HIV/AIDS Observational Database

November 2008—TREAT Asia has pioneered the first database to assess the natural history of HIV disease in treated and untreated patients throughout Asia and the Pacific. In an unprecedented regional collaboration on HIV research, 17 clinical sites in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand are using standardized methods to collect anonymous patient data.

The information gathered through the TREAT Asia HIV/AIDS Observational Database (TAHOD) is intended to inform the development of more effective research and treatment programs, and ultimately could help to define treatment standards for Asia and the Pacific—standards that may differ from those in Europe and the U. S. The database seeks in the long term to improve HIV clinical data collection throughout the region, assist in evaluating new HIV treatments, monitor antiretroviral and prophylactic treatment as it relates to demographics and markers of HIV disease stage, monitor toxicity related to antiretroviral therapy, and examine HIV’s natural history, including the relationship between access to antiretroviral therapy and disease progression.

The National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the University of New South Wales in Australia (NCHECR) is serving as the data management center for this important study. It is hoped that TAHOD’s cost-effective, innovative methodology will become a model for monitoring HIV/AIDS in other regions of the world.

Since 2003, patient- and treatment-related data including information regarding opportunistic infections, laboratory monitoring results, and antiretroviral therapy have been collected in over 4,000 patients. TAHOD is the Asia-Pacific representative to the U.S. National Institutes of Health global HIV research program IeDEA (International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS).

Dr. Patrick Li, chief of service in the department of medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong, is the current chair of the TAHOD steering committee, which is comprised of the primary investigators from all participating sites.  TAHOD’s lead statistician, Dr. Matthew Law, heads the data management and biostatistical analysis components and is an associate professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

To date, there have been 18 presentations of TAHOD analyses at national, regional, and international HIV research meetings, and nine papers have been published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, HIV Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and others.