The CHC-led CAMELIA study was recently lauded as a landmark discovery in AIDS in 2010 by the US National Institutes of Health.
It is estimated by the WHO and UNAIDS that half of the 30 million people globally who have died of AIDS have actually died of TB. Despite this extraordinary fact and despite the fact that TB is curable, even if someone also has AIDS, the answer to the question of the optimal schedule for combining AIDS and TB therapies was unknown. CHC set out to answer this question in 2003 through a clinical trial, The CAMbodian Early vs. Late Introduction of Antiretrovirals (CAMELIA) study and a unique international Cambodian, French and American partnership. The goal of the CAMELIA clinical trial was to determine the best timing of TB and AIDS treatment for individuals who have both infections and whose immune systems are extremely compromised. Co-sponsored by the French Agence Nationale Recherches sur le SIDA et les Hepatides Virales (ANRS) and the US National Institutes of Health CIPRA program, it was performed in collaboration with the Cambodian National AIDS and TB Programs and the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and Medecins Sans Frontieres-Belgium.
The first results of the trial showed that early initiation of AIDS therapy dramatically increased survival and was communicated as a late breaker abstract at the International AIDS Conference in July 2010 in Vienna where it was cited as one of the highlights of the conference. Further data was communicated at the International TB Union meeting in Berlin in November 2010. The findings of this study are expected to change international recommendations on therapy of co-infection with HIV and TB and to save tens of thousands of lives.