a picture of a red ribbon representing World Aids Day. Picture taken by Anna Shvets.

The Clinical Trials Centre at St Mary’s Hospital has been leading research into HIV and AIDS for over 30 years

The unit initially opened in June 1991 with financial support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the Jefferiss Research Trust. Over time, the unit has expanded its’ remit to undertake research in sexual health, sexual function, and infectious diseases studies. In more recent years, the unit has supported many of the COVID—19 vaccine studies.

The research that has been conducted over the years at the Clinical Trials Centre has been pivotal to improving knowledge around how to care best for People Living with HIV, with many of these research findings integrated into national guidelines.

Currently, the Clinical Trials Centre supports commercial, non-commercial, and academic studies.

The Clinical Trials Centre team comprises of clinical and academic staff at St Mary’s Hospital from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. They are supported by experienced laboratory, operational and management staff from Imperial College London. The clinical teams all have close links to the Jefferiss Wing Centre for Sexual Health at St Mary’s Hospital, a leading UK provider of HIV and sexual health care.

The launch of Imperial College's Faculty of Medicine in 1997 coincided with a new era in HIV/AIDS treatment and research. Just prior to its creation came the groundbreaking revelation that combining three antiretroviral drugs could drastically improve the prognosis of people living with HIV. The subsequent rollout of triple therapy in the UK quickly led to a steep decline in the number of people developing and dying from AIDS.    

The arrival of this new, more optimistic period was in part made possible by the vital work led by clinical researchers at St Mary’s Hospital from the outset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Read more about our 25 years of trailblazing HIV/AIDS research.