Developing a multidisciplinary network for clinical research on HIV infection: the EuroCoord experience

Author(s): Frank de Wolf, Caroline Sabin, Ole Kirk, Claire Thorne, Genevieve Chene,Kholoud Porter

Over the past 15 years, European cohorts and collaborations have played a key role in developing our understanding of HIV progression and the effects of antiretroviral therapy, enabling European expertise to contribute directly to the advances in patient diagnosis and management worldwide, and providing a continued surveillance mechanism for detection of emerging problems at a European level. These collaborations now form the foundation of EuroCoord, a Network of Excellence, recently funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program for Health Research. EuroCoord currently comprises studies that jointly contain longitudinal data from almost 270,000 HIV-positive individuals across the European continent and beyond, both male and female, from neonates to geriatric populations, infected through sex between men, sex between men and women, injecting drug use, nosocomially and from mother to child, with and without coinfection with hepatitis viruses, of different ethnic and socio–economic backgrounds, from indigenous and migrant populations, in settings with varying levels of access to care and laboratory techniques. Through a multidisciplinary approach, EuroCoord’s overall aim is to address key areas of longitudinal HIV research aimed at improving the management and life of HIV-positive individuals, whilst allowing us to explore differences within subgroups.