USAMRU-K U.S. Military HIV Research Program
Overview. The Division of Retrovirology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) funds and supports HIV research activities executed by USAMRU-K as part of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP).
The USAMRU-K HIV program is located in the South Rift Valley Province at the KEMRI/USAMRU-K Clinical Research Center, Kericho, Kenya. The USAMRU-K HIV program’s primary mission is contributing to the development of a globally effective HIV-1 vaccine to protect U.S. military service members, allied forces, and the world community through evaluating HIV vaccine candidates in clinical trials. The USAMRU-K HIV program is divided into two components: Comprehensive HIV Clinical Research (including vaccine, therapeutics, and observational/cohorts) and HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment under the PEPFAR program. Additionally, in 2009, a state of the art microbiology laboratory was constructed. The laboratory is over 9,000 square feet and capabilities include bacterial isolation and culture; the Microscan identification system; pulse field gel electrophoresis for bacterial DNA fingerprinting; PCR; enteric virus detection and identification; and parasitological support.
Primary Objective. Evaluating HIV candidate vaccines to support the development of a globally effective HIV vaccine to protect U.S. military service members, allied forces, and the world community.
Function as a comprehensive HIV research center conducting both interventional (vaccine and therapeutic) and operational research.
Support the PEPFAR initiative by providing comprehensive HIV care and treatment to Kenyans in need for the South Rift Valley Province (larger research catchment area), Nyanza Province, and the Kenya Department of Defense thereby recognizing ethical obligations of Kenyans in need.
Develop Kenyan leaders to become internationally recognized as clinical research experts.
In addition to vaccine research supporting the primary program mission, the USAMRU-K HIV program in Kericho also conducts therapeutic, operational, and economic research complimenting the primary mission and as part of a larger comprehensive research/care and treatment portfolio. Under a grant held by Boston University, The KEMRI/USAMRU-K HIV program continues its nearly 5 year collaboration with Boston University and KEMRI to conduct economic and health outcomes research. The program also conducts therapeutics research sponsored by the NIH/NIAID/Division of AIDS and has started a partnership with NIH to conduct HIV research sponsored by the USUHS IDCRP.
The PEPFAR program in a Presidential directed initiative executed through the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (O-GAC)/State Department that supports HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment in 15 focus countries including Kenya. As one of the USG agencies implementing PEPFAR through the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the U.S. DoD (WRAIR/USAMRU-K/Division of Retrovirology) supports three primary populations: civilians in the South Rift Valley and Nyanza Provinces and military the Kenya Department of Defense active duty personnel and their dependents at five military facilities throughout Kenya in recognition of direct military to military support.