South Africa faces significant health challenges as the epicentre of the global HIV epidemic, with high rates of HIV and TB. These disease burdens are compounded by the co-occurrence of common mental disorders, particularly in the context of HIV and HIV/TB. Underlying these national-level health trends are provincial and district health inequalities resulting from the legacy of the racist apartheid regime. The structural inequities wrought by apartheid continue to influence the distribution and prevalence of social, economic and behavioural risk factors that impact health outcomes.


Eastern Cape province has one of the highest HIV prevalence, the highest TB incidence,  and some of the poorest outcome metrics in South Africa. Even with these facts, most research support, capacity, implementation, donor funding and infrastructure continues to flow to the well-established, historically advantaged institutions in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal Province), Johannesburg (Gauteng Province) and Cape Town (Western Cape Province). This too is a legacy of apartheid policies that impacted access to educational opportunities and the allocation of resources to universities.


DTHF through KiSS-TP changing the tide.

To rectify health and institutional disparities, it’s essential to invest in institutions beyond Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. By supporting Eastern Cape’s HIV researchers, an immediate return on investment can be achieved, fostering a critical mass of cutting-edge experts within the region by aiming to reach two main goals.


Goal 1: Provide PhD training to the next generation of historically disadvantaged HIV researchers in Eastern Cape Province.

Goal 2: Strengthen PhD training capacity in Eastern Cape through professional development and progression towards independent research programmes for UFH and WSU faculty and D43 trainees.


Why focus on the Eastern Cape?

The development of HIV research capacity in the Eastern Cape Province is pivotal for combatting South Africa’s HIV epidemic. Addressing gaps in training local investigators to utilize mixed methods effectively is essential for enhancing HIV prevention and treatment efforts. KiSS-TP offers comprehensive graduate training for South African PhD candidates, with a specific focus on empowering historically disadvantaged institutions and students, ultimately contributing to improved HIV prevention and treatment outcomes in the Eastern Cape Province.


To build HIV scientific, research and academic capacity within South Africa’s Historically Disadvantaged Universities and Create a critical mass of cutting-edge HIV researchers in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa through the KiSS-TP consortium.


  1. Increase the scientific expertise and complementary skills of KiSS-TP trainees.
  2. Improve the ability of trainees to pursue independently supported scientific careers.
  3. Integrate trainees into HDIs and/or the Eastern Cape research community following the program.
  4. Strengthen trainee contributions to KiSS-TP research focus areas.

For questions on the KiSS-TP please contact [email protected]


Meet the KiSS-TP trainees


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment