CEPHIA, the Consortium for the Evaluation and Performance of HIV Incidence Assays, brings together world leaders in the development, performance assessment and application of Recent Infection Testing Algorithms (RITAs) to identify recent HIV infection. The CEPHIA project team is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) HIV Incidence Assays Working Group, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others to further the use and application of HIV incidence assays.
CEPHIA’s purpose, as envisaged under an award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the ‘Development of specimen repository and evaluation of assays for identification of recent HIV infection and estimation of HIV incidence’. CEPHIA’s purpose is to advance the understanding of currently available assays that are able to distinguish recent from non-recent HIV infection, to better describe the mean duration of the assay-defined state of recent infection, and to determine the propensity of the assay to return recent classifications at large times post infection.
Specific project objectives are to evaluate and compare currently available assays for the detection of recent HIV infection, using a common set of well-characterised specimens collected for this purpose; and to assess the suitability of the assays, alone or in combination, for accurate HIV incidence estimation in populations.
The collaborating organisations are:
- Public Health England (PHE); London, UK
- Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI); San Francisco, USA
- University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); San Francisco, USA
- South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA); Stellenbosch University, South Africa
The project team is comprised of four project investigators: Dr. Gary Murphy – principal investigator, United Kingdom Health Protection Agency; Dr. Michael Busch – Blood Systems Research Institute; Dr. Christopher Pilcher – University of California, San Francisco; and Dr. Alex Welte – South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis.
In addition, there are four site project managers: Elaine McKinney – United Kingdom Health Protection Agency; Sheila Keating – Blood Systems Research Institute; Shelley Facente – University of California, San Francisco; and Reshma Kassanjee – South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis.
The group also includes a Steering Committee comprised of: Tom Quinn – Committee Chair – John Hopkins University; Jesus Maria Garcia Calleja – World Health Organization (WHO); Connie Sexton – USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Tim Hallett – Imperial College; Paula Akugizibwe – AIDS and Rights Alliance; and Anatoly Kamali – International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
The principal investigator, Dr Gary Murphy, can be contacted at