South Africa will open $8 million TB/HIV facility in October

An $8 million facility in Durban, South Africa, will open in October to drive innovation to control the epidemics of tuberculosis and HIV in the country and throughout Africa.

The 40,000 square foot research building is part of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV. The facility will accommodate nine principle investigators, contain four floors of dedicated laboratory space, training facilities and 6,000 square feet of biosafety level 3 laboratory space, SciDev.net reports.

Salim S. Abdool Karim, the director of the Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, said the facility represents a trend of international funds and research capacity building to fight Africa's HIV epidemic.

"(The) U.S. government invests, between the several agencies, $150 million per year in HIV research, meanwhile, $5 million per year is invested by the South African government," Karim said, according to SciDev.net.

The centers give South African researchers the ability to collect data for clinical studies and a space for coming up with ideas for original research, SciDev.net reports.

Mitchell Warren, the executive director of Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, praised the growth of scientific research and leadership in South Africa.

"There has been an explosion of scientific mind, scientific leadership and opportunities in South Africa and in general in the developing world," Warren said, according to SciDev.net. "Another important issue is the commitment by these initiatives to creating opportunities for young scientists."