Institute for Global Health


A year of influential HIV research - World AIDS Day 2022

1 December 2022

To observe World AIDS Days 2022, we are looking back at a year of world-class Institutional research into HIV and AIDS.

Inspecting a specimen in a microtube

Across the Institute for Global Health, world-class academics and researchers are continuously fighting to better understand and treat HIV and AIDS whilst fighting to destroy stigmas and provide support for those living with the disease.  

We have highlighted a selection of the groundbreaking research into HIV and AIDS that has been carried out within our Institute this past year.  

Current research projects 

Towards ending HIV in Zimbabwe through focusing on improving targeting of HIV testing and uptake of HIV prevention in adolescent girls and young women 

The project aims to understand the best allocation of HIV testing resources to maximise health and to develop a PrEP implementation intervention for adolescent girls and young women who need it, with the potential to offer value for money. 

Accelerating Achievements for Adolescents in Africa. 

Supported by the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), Prof Lorraine Sherr works within the GCRF hub on Teen pregnancy in the presence of HIV. Lorraine focuses on the differences between adolescent pregnancy for vertically and behaviorally infected adolescents.  The study has produced the first data on the third generation of children affected by HIV (those born to mothers with HIV who themselves were born to mothers living with HIV).  

CASCADE Collaboration 

Despite antiretroviral therapy (ART) being freely available to people living with HIV, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) broadly accessible across Europe, every year significant numbers of individuals become newly-diagnosed in Western Europe. An understanding of what drives current epidemic trends, viral and host characteristics, and reasons for not using (or acquiring HIV despite) prevention methods, including PrEP, is essential. It is also important to understand motives for delays in ART initiation, the choice of drugs/regimens, and subsequent outcomes (including patient-reported outcomes- PROMS) in those presenting for diagnosis and care in early infection. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research on the lived experience of recently-acquired HIV infection in the context of PrEP availability and treatment as prevention, which is critical to optimising health and well-being. 

As a collaboration between the investigators of HIV cohorts in Greece, Spain, Netherlands, France, Sweden, UK, and Canada, CASCADE’s main aim is to explore viral and host characteristics, measure the outcomes, and understand the experiences and needs for individuals with recently-acquired HIV in those countries.   

The HIV Modelling Consortium  

IGH are the proud hosts of the HIV Modelling Consortium on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2019, IGH has hosted the Consortium, comprising of a network of epidemiologists, health economists, and other partners. The HIV Modelling Consortium applies mathematical modelling analyses to policy decision-making for HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa, supported by the Foundation. 

GROWS (Women living with HIV Growing Older, Wiser and Stronger) 

A Fast Track Cities London Inititative-funded collaboration between three major national HIV charities (Sophia Forum, Positively UK and NAM), and UCL IGH. This three-year project has developed holistic support for older women living with HIV including over 45 trained peer mentors, a range of information resources and an advocacy report outlining key recommendations for policy, research and clinical practice. 


Since 1997 ICONA (Italian Cohort of Patients Native from Antiretrovirals) has operated within a national Network designed to collect clinical data and selected biological materials. For over 25 years ICONA has enrolled more than 16,000 antiretroviral-naïve patients at the beginning of the observational period: this ensures ICONA Foundation to have essential data and information about natural history and outcome of HIV and hepatitis virus infections across the Italian network.  


The National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles are the world's largest, most detailed studies of sexual behavior. It was created in response to the emerging HIV epidemic in the mid 1980s in Britain.  Natsal takes place every 10 years with a fourth survey scheduled for 2022/23. Natsal has demonstrated population-based increases in uptake of chlamydia screening, HIV testing, and sexual health service use, and continues to be used to estimate HIV prevalence and undiagnosed HIV in the population. 

Published Papers  

Free HIV self-test for identification and linkage to care of previously undetected HIV infection in men who have sex with men in England and Wales (SELPHI): an open-label, internet-based, randomised controlled trial. Rodger AJ, McCabe L, Phillips AN, Lampe FC, Burns F, Ward D, Delpech V, Weatherburn P, Witzel TC, Pebody R, Kirwan P, Gabriel M, Khawam J, Brady M, Fenton KA, Trevelion R, Collaco-Moraes Y, McCormack S, Dunn D. 2022

The prevalence and patterns of menopausal symptoms in women living with HIV.  Okhai H, Sabin C, Haag K, Sherr L, Dhairyawan R, Shephard J, Gilson R, Burns F, Post F, Jones R, Gilleece Y, Tariq S.  AIDS Behav 2022; 26(11): 3679-3687. 

Biomarker associations with insomnia and secondary sleep outcomes in persons with and without HIV in the POPPY-Sleep Sub-study: a cohort study.  Bakewell N, Sabin CA, Negi R, Garcia-Leon A, Winston A, Sachikonye M, Doyle N, Redline S, Mallon PWG, Kunisaki KM.  Sleep 2022

The global burden of cognitive impairment in people living with HIV: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Keng LD, Winston A, Sabin CA.  AIDS 2022; (in press) 

Estimating the risk of mortality attributable to recent late HIV diagnosis following admission to the intensive care unit: A single-centre observational cohort study Bakewell N, Kanitkar T, Dissanayake O, Symonds M, Rimmer S, Adlakha A, Lipman MC, Bhagani S, Agarwal B, Miller RF, Sabin CA.  HIV Medicine 2022  

Learning and memory function in young people with and without perinatal HIV in England. Arenas-Pinto, Alejandro; Judd, Ali; Melvin, Diane; Le Prevost, Marthe; Foster, Caroline; Sturgeon, Kate; Winston, Alan. PLoS One 2022 

Obesity in women living with HIV aged 45-60 in England: An analysis of the PRIME study. Ashraf, Asma N; Okhai, Hajra; Sabin, Caroline A; Sherr, Lorraine; Haag, Katharina; Dhairyawan, Rageshri; Gilson, Richard; Burns, Fiona; Pettitt, Fiona; Tariq, Shema. HIV Medicine 2022 

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect access to condoms, chlamydia and HIV testing, and cervical cancer screening at a population level in Britain? (Natsal-COVID). Dema, Emily; Sonnenberg, Pam; Gibbs, Jo; Conolly, Anne; Willis, Malachi; Riddell, Julie; Bosó Pérez, Raquel; Copas, Andrew J; Tanton, Clare; Bonell, Chris; Oeser, Clarissa; Clifton, Soazig; Unemo, Magnus; Mercer, Catherine H; Mitchell, Kirstin R; Field, Nigel. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2022 

Patterns of mental health symptoms among women living with HIV ages 45-60 in England: associations with demographic and clinical factors. Haag, Katharina; Tariq, Shema; Dhairyawan, Rageshri; Sabin, Caroline; Okhai, Hajra; Gilson, Richard; Burns, Fiona; (2022 

Alcohol, smoking, recreational drug use and association with virological outcomes among people living with HIV: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Jones, TPW; Lampe, FC; Arenas-Pinto, A; Smith, C; McDonnell, J; Haddow, L; Johnson, M; Yousef, E; Lascar, M; Maria Geretti, A; Sherr, L; Collins, S; Phillips, AN; Rodger, AJ. HIV Medicine 2022 

Increased risk of mental illness in people with HIV. Lampe, Fiona C. The Lancet HIV 2022 

Mixed studies review of domestic violence in the lives of women affected by HIV stigma. Mukerji, Reshmi; Osrin, David; Mannell, Jenevieve. AIDS Care 2022 

Enabling timely HIV postexposure prophylaxis access in sub-Saharan Africa. Phillips, Andrew N; Sibanda, Euphemia; Sikwese, Kenly; Bansi-Matharu, Loveleen; Cambiano, Valentina; Rodger, Alison; Lundgren, Jens; Shahmanesh, Maryam; Gilks, Charlie; Godfrey, Catherine; Ehrenkranz, Peter; Hargreaves, James R; Revill, Paul; Cowan, Frances. AIDS 2022 

Effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing HIV acquisition and transmission among gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in high income settings: A systematic review. Sewell, Janey; Fakoya, Ibidun; Lampe, Fiona C; Howarth, Alison; Phillips, Andrew; Burns, Fiona; Rodger, Alison J. PLoS One 2022 

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