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HIV Infection: Research

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department is providing for research into HIV and AIDS in 2008-09. (234269)

The Department and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have made a sustained investment in HIV/AIDS research over the last 20 years and will continue to do so.

Implementation of the Department's research strategy Best Research for Best Health has resulted in an expansion of our research programmes and in significant new funding opportunities for research in all areas of human health. A copy has already been placed in the Library. The MRC spent some £29 million on research related to HIV/AIDS in 2007-08 and the Department £2.2 million.

Joint MRC and Department for International Development initiatives supporting and encouraging research on HIV include the DART trial, one of the largest trials in Africa to evaluate two strategic approaches for the management of antiretroviral therapies; the antiretorviral research for Watoto trial (the largest paediatric HIV trial worldwide); and the microbicides development programme, a partnership between the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa to develop vaginal microbicides for the prevention of transmission of HIV infection.

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, which involves 16 European countries and 46 sub-Saharan African countries, and of which the MRC is a key member, aims to develop new clinical interventions to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.