Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are co-launching a new global health research group on HIV-associated fungal infections.
Serious fungal infections are a major threat to global public health, with individuals living with HIV disproportionately affected by these severe infections. Historically, this field of research has been neglected, receiving less than 1.5% of international funds afforded to infectious disease research.
With support from a £3 million grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research, IMPRINT will aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment of four major HIV-associated fungal infections; Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, Pneumocystis, and Talaromyces. These infections are responsible for over 20% of AIDS-related deaths worldwide and have been recognized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a priority disease in 2022.
The group will focus on six key objectives regarding treatment, prevention, health economics, diagnostics, training, and community engagement between 2022 and 2026. Efforts will be targeted toward populations that are most frequently affected by HIV-associated fungal infections in Africa (such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Guinea) and in South East Asia (Vietnam).
IMPRINT will gather insights from qualitative research, with guidance from a steering committee and a community advisory board. The group also plans to maximize the impact of their results through consultations with national, regional, and international bodies (for example, ministries of health, major NGOs, Unitaid, WHO, and Africa CDC).