NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Aurum Institute has programmes in nine provinces and employ over 400 people
- from doctors and community health care workers to programme administrators and
In the past ten years, through Aurum managed HIV and TB prevention, treatment
and care programmes in communities, workplaces and prisons the organisation and
its partners have had some major successes, including:
• Testing approximately 75,000 people for HIV,
• Enrolling 63,000 people into HIV wellness programmes,
• Screening 23,000 people living with HIV for TB,
• Starting 21,000 people living with HIV on TB preventive therapy and,
• Starting 40,000 people on life saving antiretroviral therapy.
In 1998, Aurum Health Research (as it was then known) was started by AngloGold
Ashanti with the objective of gathering together the large body of ad-hoc research,
treatment knowledge and scientists working in TB and HIV/AIDS in the Southern
African mining sector to form an institution. In 2005, Aurum became an independent,
not-for-profit Public Benefit Organisation.
Today the Aurum Institute is an internationally recognised, specialist research and
health systems management organisation dedicated to improving the understanding
and treatment of TB, HIV/AIDS and workplace diseases in developing countries.
Aurum continues to conduct research into the surveillance, treatment and
management of epidemic, occupational and other diseases occurring amongst
mineworkers and their dependents, however in response to international demand for
quality treatment, research sites and programme development, the Institute’s work
has extended outside the mining sector.
The Aurum Institute has an international reputation for our work in the fields of TB,
HIV/AIDS and is the recipient of research and other grants from South African and
international agencies and institutions for this work.
Despite well-implemented TB control programmes, TB is still very prevalent at gold
mines in South Africa due to a high prevalence of silicosis, an escalating HIV
epidemic and the combined effect of HIV & silicosis.
The Aurum Institute initiated Thibela to rapidly and dramatically reduce TB rates
among gold miners using community-wide preventive therapy coupled with standard
TB control measures.
If the intervention is effective in reducing TB rates at the population level, this
strategy could be applied to other communities with high TB transmission, such as
settings with high density living and poor working conditions.
Aurum’s Thibela TB programme is beginning to show that there may likely be a
faster, better and cheaper way to manage TB in communities. Thus far the research
indicates our intervention may yield a 60 percent reduction in the incidence of TB in
the study communities lasting more than ten years.
The study is funded by the Mine Health and Safety Council and the Consortium to
Respond Effectively to the AIDS & TB Epidemic (CREATE), as part of a grant from
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With funding from the National Institute of
Health and the Colt Foundation, we are now researching multi- and extensive- drug
HIV CARE AND TREATMENT PROGRAMME: 'LIGHT FOR LIFE'
‘Light for Life’, one of Aurum Institute’s largest and most established programmes,
has been in operation since October 2002. The programme evolved from a
workplace programme, focussed on antiretroviral delivery, to a large HIV
implementation programme with over 100 facilities throughout the country in the
public and private health sectors.
With funding from the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief
(PEPFAR) a community programme provides voluntary counselling and testing
(VCT), and HIV care and treatment to individuals. Aurum’s Light for Life programme
has standardised a model of delivery of ART and endeavours to enable greater
access to HIV infected individuals requiring ART through partnerships in the public
and private sectors while developing capacity. Aurums’ programme also provides a
framework for research to inform health care providers about antiretroviral therapy
implementation in South Africa and in the developing world.
HIV PREVENTION PROGRAMME
In an effort to improve the quality of health and create awareness of disease risks we
established a research site in the Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein, and
Hartebeesfontein District in 2002, focusing initially on HIV and TB prevention and
treatment in mineworkers.
In July 2004, the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) provided funding for
a Community Preparedness Programme (CPP) to provide community information
about HIV prevention, and encourage participation in HIV vaccine trials while
addressing community concerns about HIV, vaccine trials, clinical research, and
rights of research participants.
As a result, Aurum officially established a clinical research site in Klerksdorp in 2007.
As part of the HIV Vaccine Trial Network (HVTN), Aurum provides one of several
sites throughout the world to test candidate vaccines. The results thus far look
extremely promising and good news is anticipated very shortly.
Aurum seeks information needed to improve the health of people in developing
communities. Aurum finds answers through research to inform health interventions,
policy, and programmes that will substantially reduce and possibly even halt the
incidence of TB, HIV/AIDS and workplace diseases.
• Extensive experience & internationally-published research
• Unmatched clinical and epidemiological databases
• Policy-shifting results
• Practical disease management strategies
• World class vaccine research
Aurum is active in communities in all nice provinces, caring for individuals through
the effective management of HIV/AIDS care & treatment access programmes –
specifically prevention; wellness; counselling; and Anti-Retroviral Therapy
• Managing - project management; data management; and analysis and on-line
• Evaluating health economics of programmes and strategies; health systems
evaluation; health benefit analysis offering many advantages over actuarial
models; peer reviewed publications.
• Training of professionals and counsellors in basic and advanced HIV/AIDS
care; administration of Anti-Retroviral Therapy; programme design and
implementation and courses.
• Specialist services
Aurums’ epidemiology, statistical analysis, study data management and
psychosocial services also undertake projects in their own right, either for
research and development objectives or as a consulting service to other
organisations seeking specialist advice.
Financial, administration, commercial and governance expertise is also
available on a project or consultancy basis.
RESEARCH PARTNERS AND FUNDING
Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology; Columbia University; Consortium to
Respond Effectively to the Aids and TB Epidemic (CREATE); HIV Vaccine Trials
Network (HVTN); International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI); Johns Hopkins
University; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; National Center for
Infectious diseases; National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety; New
Jersey Medical School; Saint George’s, University of London; University of Manitoba
Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA); National
Department of Health South Africa; National Institute of Communicable Diseases;
Provincial Department of Health: Eastern Cape ; Provincial Department of Health:
Free State; Provincial Department of Health: Gauteng; Provincial Department of
Health: KwaZulu Natal; Provincial Department of Health: Limpopo; Provincial
Department of Health: Mpumalanga ; Provincial Department of Health: North West;
University of Stellenbosch; University of Cape Town – Faculty of Health Sciences;
University of Johannesburg; University of KwaZulu Natal – Faculty of Health
AngloGold Ashanti Fund; Anglo American Chairman's Fund; Aeras Global TB
Vaccine Foundation (AERAS); Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in
South Africa (CAPRISA); Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology; Consortium to
Respond Effectively to the Aids and TB Epidemic (CREATE); European Union (EU);
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP); Family
Health International (FHI); Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND);
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN); International AIDS
Vaccine Initiative (IAVI); Mine Health and Safety Council; President's Emergency
Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Sanofi-Aventis; South African AIDS Vaccine
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Dr Dave Clark, Deputy CEO
082 556 5536
011 484 8844
Jennifer Heslop Spencer, Media Liaison
083 778 1729