IMPACTA

The AsociaciĆ³n Civil Impacta Salud y EducaciĆ³n (IMPACTA) has been dedicated to basic science, epidemiological, clinical, and operational research in Peru since year 2000. The IMPACTA Peru Clinical Trials Unit has two clinical research sites (CRS) participating in ACTG studies and serving separate areas of Lima, a city with more than 8 million people. CRS 11301 is located in the district of Barranco (Southern Lima) and CRS 11302 located in the district of San Miguel (Northwestern Lima). Contributions of these sites to ACTG studies include A5175, A5199, A5217, A5221, A5227, A5234, A5250, A5253, A5255, A5259, A5271, and PROMISE. Studies about to open include A5273, A5274, A5279, A5282, and A5288. Several members of our team participate in ACTG protocol teams and ACTG scientific committees. Impacta has also contributed to the research agenda of other NIH networks such as HVTN, HPTN, and INSIGHT, and is preparing to begin MTN studies.

Impacta is the pioneer in HIV prevention research in South America aimed at high-risk populations, such as men who have sex with men. Under the Comprehensive International Program for Research on AIDS (CIPRA) we conducted the first third-generation sentinel surveillance program for the Andean region. The knowledge gained is now used as a reference for developing public health strategies in the country and the region.

Effective networking has been the cornerstone for the success of IMPACTA. Strategic alliances and technical cooperation with national or international governmental, academic, and scientific institutions has been consolidated. Both sites 11301 and 11302 are sites providing care under the Peruvian Ministry of Health National Antiretroviral Therapy Program.

Such multiple and diverse activities are coordinated by resource units such as the laboratory unit, the biostatistics, informatics and data management services (BIDS) unit, the community education and involvement unit, and the clinical research unit. An independent Ethics Committee provides oversight of all our activities to maximize human subject protection.

The Community Education resource unit provides successful recruitment of study participants. It is supported by the PLUS Network comprising more than 12 hospitals and 21 health care centers that are actively involved in referring potential participants. A Community Advisory Board, compose by 12 members, is a successful communication channel between researchers and the community-at-large, providing input from different target communities recruited in our studies. Finally, development of educational materials and educational and outreach activities are directed to the community.

Our staff is proud of our accomplishments with the ACTG, and we are grateful for the technical and scientific mentoring we continue to receive from the network. Our personnel are now highly qualified in all areas of research. The knowledge being generated is already impacting practice in our country. We look forward to continuing and expanding the contributions of our team to the scientific agenda of the network.