UNC Expands Research in Vietnam

UNC Chapel Hill delegation visits UNC Project-Vietnam in Hanoi. From left to right, Professor Irving Hoffman, Assistant Professor Joseph Tucker, Dr. Thanh Le, Professor Myron Cohen, Professor Joe Eron.

UNC Chapel Hill delegation visits UNC Project-Vietnam in Hanoi. From left to right, Professor Irving Hoffman, Assistant Professor Joseph Tucker, Dr. Thanh Le, Professor Myron Cohen and Professor Joe Eron.

Four UNC Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases faculty visited the UNC Project-Vietnam in Hanoi this September. The purpose of the visit was threefold:

  1. to celebrate the successful completion of the HPTN 074 study;
  2. to prepare for the launch the HPTN 083 study;
  3. to consider areas for further mutual collaboration.

“Its easy to have big ideas, its hard to actually get the work done locally,” noted IDHID Director Mike Cohen, MD. But, he continued, Vietnam has been at the forefront of completing important HIV research studies.

The HPTN 074 study is a vanguard study examining whether a comprehensive intervention composed of navigation and counseling is effective in reducing HIV transmission to injection partners. The study is chaired by Irving Hoffman, PA, MPH, and William Miller, MD, PhD. Hoffman congratulated the Vietnam team on its progress in this trial. Trial data are now being analyzed and results will be announced soon.

UNC Project-Vietnam has been a site for several of the U.S. HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) studies.

UNC Project-Vietnam has been a site for several of the U.S. HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) studies.

The HPTN 083 study, or Give PrEP a Shot, is an ongoing randomized controlled trial examining long-acting injectable cabotegravir to prevent HIV at 44 sites in seven countries, including Vietnam. The Vietnamese HPTN clinical research site is led by Dr. Tran Viet Ha. This study will bring together researchers from Hanoi Medical University and the 19-8 Hospital.

During the visit visit to Hanoi, Ha and her team welcomed Cohen and Hoffman as well as UNC faculty Joe Eron, MD, and Joseph Tucker, MD, PhD. Tucker is the director of UNC Project-China.

This exciting trip highlighted further opportunities for collaborative UNC research in Vietnam. Cohen and Eron, respectively, discussed how the Vietnam site could potentially be involved in future global HIV prevention or therapeutic research. Tucker discussed crowdsourcing contests as participatory activities for community engagement among men who have sex with men.

Vivian Go, PhD, is the director of UNC Project-Vietnam and an associate professor of health behavior at UNC. Teerada Sripaipan, is the project manager, based at UNC-Chapel Hill. Learn more about UNC Project-Vietnam by visiting http://globalhealth.unc.edu/where-we-work/vietnam/.