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Research on HIV and AIDS

In responding effectively to the global HIV and AIDS epidemic, it is important to strengthen knowledge and evidence of what works. We invest in research that focuses on improving the health outcomes of those living with HIV and AIDS and the development of new products aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

Nurse works on a blood sample

Investing in research

In 2010, there were 34 million people living with HIV worldwide. Two-thirds of them are in living in sub-Saharan Africa and women and children are disproportionately impacted.

We know that HIV and AIDS is the world’s leading cause of death in women ages 15-44. We know that people who are poorly nourished are more susceptible to the virus. And we also know that those most in need of treatment often do not get access to it.

That is why we support action research on the links between HIV and AIDS, health and nutrition with a view to influencing global policy and practice.

Irish Aid supports action research on the links between HIV and AIDS, health and nutrition with a view to influencing global policy and practice

Supporting the development of new prevention technologies against HIV

We recognise the need for increased investment to speed up the development of new prevention technologies. So we are funding both the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the International Partnership for Microbicides to advance research into these much-needed preventive technologies.

It is generally believed that the global HIV and AIDS epidemic cannot be stemmed without an effective vaccine accessible to all that need it.

IAVI is in the business of ensuring that global talent and efforts are co-ordinated in the best way possible to develop an effective vaccine as fast as possible, and that it will be available to all that need it, especially the poor, when it is licensed for use.

A team of researchers working with IAVI, have recently made some exciting discoveries. They have discovered a  collection of 17 antibodies, which are capable of neutralising a broad spectrum of variants of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.  Many leading researchers in the AIDS vaccine field believe that the structural and biochemical analysis of these antibodies hold the key for the development of an effective AIDS vaccine.

Supporting home-based care 

A research initiative by Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) and the Health and Development Networks (HDN) drew attention to the important role of local caregivers in supporting communities impacted by AIDS in Zimbabwe. This work has informed guidelines for other home-based care organisations.

Using cash transfers to improve nutrition and treatment outcomes

We support research through the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). This has been instrumental in influencing the world’s understanding of and response to how cash transfers can help improve nutrition and treatment outcomes in households affected by HIV/AIDS.

Read more about our approach to research

Learn more about how Irish Aid supports research