amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Looking Back over Ten Years of Epidemiologic Research

annetteAnnette H. Sohn, M.D.

At TREAT Asia’s first network meeting in 2001, there was no way to gather regional-level clinical data on HIV patient outcomes in the Asia- Pacific. Filling that gap was a key goal for the network, and would become the foundation of our research program. We can now look back and see the impact of 10 years of the TREAT Asia HIV Observational Database, which was the first and remains the only regional cohort studying long-term HIV treatment outcomes.

Since that time, TREAT Asia has grown into a program that is making 150 grants this year to support 60 institutions in conducting over 20 research studies, educational trainings, and social support activities in 14 countries. Our long-term model of working directly with local clinicians and investigators continues to build capacity within countries and ensure greater sustainability of their programs.

As World Bank Director Dr. Jim Kim notes, clinical, epidemiologic, and economic research can be strategically used to reduce new infections, improve the quality of HIV care, and increase the efficiency of national program spending. The past decade has brought multiple breakthroughs in combating the global epidemic in all these research areas. Today, our primary challenge is to figure out how to best capitalize on our collective investments in order to achieve the greatest impact.

Annette H. Sohn, M.D.