Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort Study (KIULARCO)
In 2005 a cohort study of HIV-positive patients at the St Francis Referral Hospital, Ifakara was started. Patients consenting to be regularly seen in the Chronic Diseases Clinic Ifakara (CDCI), to have their data analyzed and blood stored in a biobank for further analysis are prospectively enrolled. The cohort offers the opportunity for many nested research projects addressing questions on prevalence of associated diseases, clinical management and outcomes, aiming at addressing specific needs of this rural population and at improvement of services. A special focus is co-infection with tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, and other co-morbidities. Pediatric HIV infection – considered a neglected disease – and HIV in pregnant women is an important research line. So far, almost 9000 patients have been enrolled, of these 3500 are currently under active follow-up. 18 papers have been published; many more are in preparation or currently running. KIULARCO also offers an ideal platform for affiliated treatment studies – within international collaborations or as single center study.