CAPRISA was created in 2001 and formally established in 2002 under the NIH-funded Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA) by five partner institutions; University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Columbia University in New York. CAPRISA is a designated UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Prevention Research.
The main goal of CAPRISA is to undertake globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributes to understanding HIV pathogenesis, prevention and epidemiology as well as the links between tuberculosis and AIDS care.
To achieve this goal, CAPRISA conducts research in four main Scientific Programmes namely: HIV Pathogenesis and vaccines, HIV and TB treatment, Microbicides, and Prevention and Epidemiology. A fifth area of research on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission is conducted mainly in partnership with other Centres. Each program has a focused set of projects. Research activities at CAPRISA are supported by eight support cores including, administration, statistics, data management, laboratory, community, pharmacy, bioethics, and information systems.
The fiduciary and policy oversight of CAPRISA is governed by the Board of Control which includes senior officials of the major partner institutions. The CAPRISA Scientific Advisory Board comprises senior researchers in the HIV/AIDS, TB and Ethics fields, as well as senior officials from the Provincial and National Department of Health. The Executive committee, responsible for the management of all CAPRISA’s activities, is chaired by the Director and includes the Centre’s senior investigators and Heads of the Support Cores.