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South Africa Launches HIV/AIDS Research Initiative

South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Tuesday announced a government-sponsored research initiative that “aims to combat HIV and AIDS through scientific and technological research, the development of new drugs, diagnostic tests and vaccines,” SAPA/IOL reports (7/28). “[K]ey focus areas” of the South Africa HIV/AIDS Research and Innovation Platform (SHARP) will be prevention and therapeutics, according to BuaNews (7/28). 

SHARP has received a $5.8 million pledge from the Department of Science and Technology over the next three years to fund nine research proposals, the AP/ reports (7/28).

Pandor said SHARP will “give opportunities to young researchers who might not yet be established in the field, but who have bright ideas that deserve support,” reports the Times. “Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom said that there was an ‘opportunity to leverage finances and mobilise more funds’ should the projects deliver on their objectives,” according to the Times. The article includes information on some of the projects funded under the new initiative (McLea, 7/28).