The vision of the HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration was conceived during a meeting between Professor Praphan Phanuphak, Professor Joep Lange and Professor David Cooper in November 1995. As the directors of HIV Research Centers in Bangkok, Amsterdam and Sydney respectively, these physicians had met previously at many international HIV conferences and meetings. In light of the ongoing HIV epidemic in Thailand, they discussed a need for more affordable HIV treatments in Thailand and other resource limited settings, and the reluctance on the part of the pharmaceutical companies and other sponsors to move HIV related clinical research to areas where HIV is most prevalent. They concluded that a multi-centre clinical research organization should be established in Thailand to address these issues. HIVNAT was founded and the first study began enrolling patients in September 1996.
- To conduct HIV clinical research according to internationally accepted Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice
- To convince international pharmaceutical companies and other potential sponsors that scientifically and ethically sound HIV clinical studies can be conducted in Thailand
- To conduct clinical intervention studies that will yield answers to locally and regionally relevant research questions
- To ensure access to drugs for the study participants
- To strengthen the HIV research and care infrastructure
- To provide health care workers with valuable experience with newly available treatments
- To serve as a training centre in the practical, ethical and scientific aspects of HIV care and clinical trials for healthcare workers in government or university teaching hospitals and other related organizations in the region.
Over the last 14 years, HIVNAT has grown into an internationally recognized research organization and its core research areas include pharmacokinetics of HIV therapy, co-infections with Hepatitis B, tuberculosis and HPV, new drug development and cohort and strategic studies.
HIVNAT's accomplishments and activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The completion of 68 studies and the coordination of 60 studies that are currently running
- The initiation and participation in studies which have influenced Thai and international HIV treatment guidelines (link to papers, or guidelines?). It has also expanded its research scope to include sexually transmitted infections and prevention
- The Bangkok International Symposium on HIV Medicine (add hyperlink) is the largest meeting of its kind in South East Asia and has been convened by HIVNAT every January for the past 13 years.
- HIVNAT has provided HIV care services to almost 1,500 adults and almost 250 children and adolescents since its inception in 1996
- HIVNAT actively participates in community outreach programs and charities, to serve HIV infected children and their families in Thailand.
HIV-NAT's long term goal is to keep setting up and participating in HIV clinical research and to provide continuous clinical care for our patients.