eThekwini CAPRISA Research Clinic

Dr Kathy Mngadi and team at the March for Science event
Dr Kathy Mngadi and team at the March for Science event

The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa(CAPRISA) conducts research that is globally relevant and locally responsive, contributing to understanding HIV pathogenesis, prevention and epidemiology as well as the links between tuberculosis and AIDS care. Collaboration with the HVTN to find a safe, effective HIV vaccine is integral to this work.

The eThekwini CAPRISA Research Clinic adjoins the Prince Cyril Zulu Communicable Disease Centre, which is the largest government out-patient TB and sexually transmitted diseases treatment facility in Durban. The clinic is in the Durban city centre transport hub next to the main train station, bus rank and taxi station, in a city with a population of 3,442,361 people, most of whom speak isiZulu.


The site CLO Jason Naidoo speaks during an HIV Vaccine  education and awareness session in the community
The site CLO Jason Naidoo speaks during an HIV Vaccine education and awareness session in the community
Recent pictures of the Durban March for Science led by Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim and HVTN PI Prof Glenda Gray
Recent pictures of the Durban March for Science led by Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim and HVTN PI Prof Glenda Gray

Yajna Duki, study coordinator and Research Nurse, Princess Hector place the cannula for an HVTN 703 participant for the infusion
Yajna Duki, study coordinator and Research Nurse, Princess Hector place the cannula for an HVTN 703 participant for the infusion

In 2013 the estimated HIV prevalence in Durban was 40% (antenatal data) with an HIV incidence of 9.1% in at risk women in the control arm of a CAPRISA microbicide trial.  This site has an extensive community presence built up since its inception over a decade and uses an ethics approved pre-screening protocol that allows the site to assess risk for HIV acquisition, potential for retention, major health problems and family planning desires. As a result the screening to enrolment ratio is lowered and site efficiency is improved.

Research activities are supported by an active Community Advisory Board (CAB), comprised of approximately 15 members that meet bi-monthly and includes an HVTN working group of 3 members who participate in GCAB calls.  The CER team works in a large catchment area, which ranges from Tongaat, north of Durban, to Inchanga, west of Durban and Adams Mission, south of Durban and includes two  large townships, namely, the INK area (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu), and Umlazi.


Refiwe Songezi, the site administrator excludes coenrolment on the Biometric Coenrolment Prevention System
Refiwe Songezi, the site administrator excludes coenrolment on the Biometric Coenrolment Prevention System
PoR Atika Moosa (R), preparing to mix a vaccine in the pharmacy
PoR Atika Moosa (R), preparing to mix a vaccine in the pharmacy

Recruitment strategies include street recruitment, partnering with stakeholders in outreach programs and, working at specific areas e.g. communal taps and health and social services points.  The site has also identified bars where gay and lesbian people meet, and now partner with the Durban Gay and Lesbian Centre, to engage the LGBTI communities. Men are recruited at taxi ranks and recreational areas. The site utilises a Facebook page, to create awareness and provide education around HIV and HIV Vaccine research. Quarterly retention events and male involvement sessions are also conducted to enhance retention, address participant concerns and communicate important information.


The site Facebook page landing page, used to create awareness of prevention research with a focus on vaccines

Currently the site is actively enrolling for HVTN 703, 702, 108 and 107, part B of HVTN 100 and HVTN 705 led by PI, Dr Kathy Mngadi, who sits on the Scientific Governance Committee, the Protocol Review Committee and the Efficacy working group. She is also the co-chair and national PI for HVTN 107 and the co-chair for HVTN 705. Dr Nigel Garrett, who is the Head of Pathogenesis and Vaccines, is also the chair for HVTN 108.