The results of good-quality, appropriate and up-to-date research data must guide our actions to enable an effective response to HIV.
Research must include:
- epidemiological, social and behavioural research
- operational research (programme evaluation) to inform programming and policy development
- basic and clinical research into new and/or improved therapeutic, diagnostic and preventive products and technologies (e.g. safety and efficacy of HIV-related treatments, fixeddose combinations of ARVs, cheap and easy-to-use diagnostic tests, microbicides and preventive vaccines), and
- research related to the clinical management of HIV, including co-infection with other diseases, to advance best practice in health management.
We need to undertake and/or advocate for adequate and appropriate research to ensure that responses to HIV are informed by evidence, by:
- advocating for the involvement of PLHIV and affected communities in setting research priorities, in designing and conducting research and analysing the results of research
- advocating for ethical research and/or participation in ethical review processes in order to protect and promote the human rights of people participating in research
- identifying situations where available epidemiological data is inadequate
- advocating for improvements in the type of data collected and/or the systems for collection and reporting to provide an accurate picture of risk and impacts in a given population
- identifying where social and behavioural research is needed in order to better understand the risks associated with HIV infection, the needs of PLHIV and affected communities, and the social, political, cultural and economic factors that influence HIV transmission, treatment, care and other aspects of HIV in a given context
- undertaking and/or advocating for research to improve the appropriateness and effectiveness of programme interventions, such as evaluation of the impact of efforts to scale up programmes, undertaking and/or advocating for research to improve the appropriateness and effectiveness of advocacy efforts to promote an enabling environment that supports effective responses to HIV, and building partnerships and/or engaging in joint research initiatives with research organisations and academic institutions to ensure that research initiatives contribute to improving the evidence base about what is effective in responding to HIV.