Establishing a Cohort of HIV Seronegative Persons :
NARI established a cohort of patients attending STD clinics and through their long term follow up collected very important information on the factors that are associated with the spread of HIV, the rate at which HIV infection is increasing in this group (Incidence) and the role of associated disease such as Herpes simplex virus 2, syphillis etc.
Establishment of Clinical Trials Capacity :
Clinical Trial for HIV Vaccines: NARI conducted India's first HIV vaccine trial. Phase one trial of HIV-1 subtype C based Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vector based vaccine. This was followed by second Vaccine trial involving DNA vaccine (ADVAX) priming followed by Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector based vaccine as a boost in a Phase I safety and immunogenicity trial. Through these trials NARI has established a world class facility to undertake vaccine trials.
Clinical Trial Unit : NARI has established a capacity to carry out clinical trials for anti-HIV drugs under international regulatory requirements. The Centre has undertaken clinical trials on the treatment of HIV patients with tuberculosis and demonstrated that early treatment is beneficial. The center also provides treatment to more than 3000 HIV infected persons through National ARV roll out programme.
Studies on Women Controlled Methods for Preventions of HIV :
A facility to conduct studies in vaginal microbicides and female condom has been established. A number of Phase I and II studies, including one for an indigenous preparation, Praneem, have been carried out. Recently NARI coordinated six site study for identification of sites for future microbicide trials under ICMR sponsorship.
Integrated Behavioural and Biological Assessment Survey :
NARI along with six sister Institutes completed a bio-behavioural survey in six high HIV prevalent states and four Highway segment to collect data on seven behavioural and 184 behavioural parameters. Data from more than 25000 respondents at risk for HIV infection was collected in two rounds for assessing the impact of one of the largest intervention programme for prevention of HIV infection among sex workers, men having sex with men, intra-venous drug users and long
distance truck drivers.
Assistance to National Programme :
NARI is one of the regional Institutes for supervising surveillance for HIV infection. NARI as the Apex laboratory provides proficiency testing programme for HIV viral load to 64 public sector laboratories, HIV serology and CD4 counts to over 300 CD4 testing laboratories and 8000 serological testing laboratories. NARI contributes to capacity building through training and technical assistance.
Community Programme :
A robust community programme with a vibrant community advisory board, liaison with grassroot NGOs and active involvement of NARI staff has been a pillor of strength for research at NARI. The programme has helped in reaching out community, address community concerns in the research carried out by the Institute, adding community perspective for research programme and community participation in research. This has been one of the model for Community engagement for research.
“WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Diagnosis and monitoring of Anti-retroviral
HIV Virus Repository :
NARI has established a virus repository with over 120 virus strains that are characterized and are available for scientists for the research purpose. NARI also has carried out full length sequencing of over 90 Indian HIV virus strains.
Establishment of the National Facility for screening of new entitites for anti-HIV activity in vitro
HIV Drug Resistance Genotyping Laboratory :
This was the first laboratory in South East Asia that has been accredited by WHO for carrying out HIV drug resistance genotyping. The laboratory is also accredited by the National Insttutes of Health, USA for carrying out HIV-1 genotyping for NIH sponsored networks. The laboratory has developed a cheaper alternative for HIV genotyping using both plasma and dried blood spot samples.
NARI has established successful collaborative programme with International and National
organizations. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, Duke University, USA, Family Health International. Van der Bilt University, University of California San Diego, USA, University of Melbourne, Australia, London Scool of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, are some of the major co international collaborators.
Academic Achievements :
Centre for Doctoral Studies (Ph. D) under Savitribai Phule Pune University. Maharashtra University of
Health Sciences, and Symbiosis International University.
Training Activities at NARI :
Training programs and workshops on various aspects of HIV infection for doctors,
laboratory & health care workers & counselors from different states of India.
Short-term training for post-graduate students in medicine and life sciences on request
& Summer training for M.Sc students from various Universities in the country.