Ground-breaking science and innovative healthcare

South Africa is at the epicentre of the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics. The Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU) runs clinical trials undertaking clinical research to prevent, treat and manage HIV/AIDS, TB and associated diseases. It is a division of the Wits Health Consortium, a wholly owned company of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is affiliated to the Department of Internal Medicine at Wits.

Our mission is to deliver excellence and quality in clinical research.

Our research agenda is aligned with international health priorities as spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In our partnerships with public health organisations, our research outputs are reinvested in national guidelines and provide a platform for epidemiological programmes.

Global collaboration and shared commitments to improving the healthcare of society ensures that CHRU is involved in pioneering science and innovative healthcare.

The protection of our participants, without whom breakthrough science would not be possible, is pivotal to the success of our research output. We work closely with communities to improve patient care, reduce risk and support them on their healthcare journey.

Several of CHRU’s senior scientists serve on numerous international protocols and guideline committees while contributing to high quality scientific research. They help draw the world’s attention to new and emerging challenges in dealing with the HIV and TB pandemics in South Africa.

Over the past decade, CHRU has participated in various trials that have impacted significantly on health outcomes, lead to new guidelines and changed standards of care – from shortening the standard of care regimen for MDR-TB patients (STREAM 1 study), to proof that discordant couples who adhere to antiretroviral therapy (ART) will be protected from HIV (HPTN 052 study), to affirming the WHO’s recommendations to test and immediately start treatment (START study).

Our latest impact on national health guidelines is the use of Bedaquiline as the standard of care treatment drug for MDR-TB patients, which is now available to all South Africans.

CHRU is a leading research unit that runs clinical trials in prevention, treatment and management of HIV/AIDS, TB and HIV-associated cancers.

Our clinical trials focus on three main areas of intervention:

HIV/AIDS, TB and HIV-Associated Cancers


  • Treatment in paediatrics and adults and

  • Drug resistance

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Drug sensitive TB and

  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) And Extensively Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB)

HIV-associated cancers

  • Kaposi Sarcoma

  • The Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) and

  • Cervical Cancer – Screening and Treatment