Press Releases

14 October 2020

Wits RHI launches clinical trial to test if measles, mumps, rubella vaccine protects frontline healt

The first CROWN CORONATION participants in Africa will be enrolled at the Wits RHI Ward 21 CRS this week. Scientists from Wits RHI led by Prof Sinead Delany-Moretlwe and the University of Cape Town are launching a clinical trial to test whether the childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) can protect frontline healthcare workers from COVID-19 or reduce the severity of illness for those who do become infected.

17 August 2020

Wits University begins its second COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa

Wits is the lead institution in South Africa for a second COVID-19 vaccine trial and will begin screening participants for the NVX-CoV2373 trial today. The Phase 2 trial in South Africa will evaluate if the nanoparticle S-protein, in the COVID-19 vaccine known as NVX-CoV2373, protects against COVID-19 disease in adults aged 18-64-years-old.

24 July 2020

Monthly Vaginal Ring Advances Toward Potential Approval as New HIV Prevention Method for Women

Positive opinion by European Medicines Agency paves way for IPM to pursue approvals of dapivirine ring in African countries MTN studies of ring’s safety in girls and pregnant and breastfeeding women taking place in parallel A vaginal ring intended to be used for a month at a time has moved one step closer to potentially becoming a new HIV prevention method for cisgender women in sub-Saharan Africa, who despite being the face of the epidemic, have few options for protecting themselves against getting infected.

09 March 2020

NIH Study Finds Lower Concentration of PrEP Drug in Pregnant Young Women

Strict Adherence to Daily PrEP is Especially Important in Pregnancy, Investigators Conclude. Among African adolescent girls and young women who took HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) daily, levels of the PrEP drug tenofovir were more than 30% lower in those who were pregnant than in those who had recently given birth. All 40 study participants took PrEP under direct observation, confirming their near-perfect adherence. PrEP drug levels were lower to a similar degree in the pregnant African adolescent girls and young women compared to American men and non-pregnant, non-lactating women who took PrEP daily under direct observation in an earlier study. These findings from the NIH-funded IMPAACT 2009 study were reported today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)

14 February 2020

Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre celebrates its first MTN-042, “DELIVER” participant!

Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre is pleased to inform the public and all relevant stakeholders that the site has successfully enrolled its first participant into MTN 042, or DELIVER, a Phase 3b safety study of the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring and Truvada as daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in pregnant women.

24 July 2019

ADVANCE Study Results Release

Mexico City, 24 July 2019 – South African study shows that dolutegravir-containing regimens perform as well as the current efavirenz-containing one used for first-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) in South Africa and most of Africa. These data are important in showing how dolutegravir and a new form of tenofovir (called tenofovir alafenamide or TAF) perform in African populations, and in providing the scientific backing for the move to dolutegravir-containing regimens from efavirenz-containing ones worldwide. The initial study results are also published today in the most prestigious medical journal in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine.

13 June 2019

ECHO Study Results Release

ECHO finds no substantial difference in HIV risk among DMPA-IM,copper IUD, and LNG implant users. DURBAN (South Africa) 13 June 2019 – A pivotal clinical trial to address a long-standing question about the relationship between hormonal contraceptive use and the risk of HIV acquisition has found no substantial difference in HIV risk among 7,829 African women who were randomly assigned to use one of three highly effective methods of contraception.

08 April 2019

Wits RHI’s New Programme to Prevent School Based HIV and GBV

Wits RHI is proud to announce the launch of a USAID-funded five year (2018 - 2023) School Based HIV and Gender Based Violence (GBV) Prevention Programme.Wits RHI will work directly with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to reduce the incidence of HIV, tuberculosis (TB) infections and violence among in-school adolescent girls and boys, aged between 9 – 19 years, across five provinces in South Africa.

05 February 2019

Wits RHI to Launch the First HPV Vaccine Impact Evaluation Project in Africa

Wits RHI is the successful recipient of two awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia for over the next five years. These will fund a study to evaluate the impact of 2-dose and 1-dose human papillomavirus vaccination schedules on community level HPV prevalence in South African adolescent girls. Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and is the leading cancer among women aged 15–44.

16 October 2018

First Dedicated Clinics to Open for Transgender Care under Key Populations Award

The Wits RHI Key Populations Programme is the successful recipient of a 5-year USAID Award for advancing the South African HIV Response for Key Populations, Sex Workers, and Transgender individuals. Sex workers and transgender individuals remain marginalised in public healthcare. In South Africa, between 40 percent and 88 percent of sex workers are HIV positive. Transgender women globally are 50 times more likely to be HIV positive than the general population. This award will change the status quo for key populations in South Africa through increasing access to health care and enhancing competency of health service providers to tailor responses to their needs.