Latin American AIDS Database Network

Bill Snyder
Published: July, 2006

The Latin American AIDS database network is called CCASAnet, an acronym recognizing its Caribbean, Central and South American partners. An estimated 2.1 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in this region in 2003—nearly 6 percent of infected people worldwide.

In 2006, team members and their countries included:

ARGENTINA: Pedro Cahn, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at the Huesped Foundation in Buenos Aires.

The non-governmental, non-profit foundation is Argentina’s best-known program for HIV prevention and care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and it has enrolled approximately 1,800 patients in clinical studies during the past decade.

BRAZIL: Mauro Schechter, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS research and care since the beginning of the Brazilian epidemic.

Schechter also is principal investigator of the Anti-retroviral Therapy in Lower Income Countries Collaboration, a network of HIV/AIDS treatment programs and cohort studies in 13 African countries, Brazil, India and Thailand.

CHILE: Marcelo José Wolff Reyes, M.D., and his colleagues at the University of Chile School of Medicine in Santiago. Reyes directs the Arriaran Foundation in San Borja Arrairan Hospital, the nation’s largest public AIDS care center for adults.

HAITI: Jean William Pape, M.D., and his colleagues at the GHESKIO Centers in Port-au-Prince, the oldest non-governmental organization working with HIV/AIDS care and research in the world. Pape and his colleagues were the first to report a case of AIDS in a developing country in 1983.

HONDURAS: Elsa Palou, M.D., head of the infectious disease service at the National Institute for Thoracic Diseases in Tegucigalpa, a national hospital that follows 1,200 patients with HIV/AIDS and which also trains health care personnel.

PERU: Eduardo Gotuzzo, M.D., professor of Medicine, Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia in Lima, and director of the Alexander von Humboldt Tropical Medicine Institute, a leading research institution in Latin America.

A past president of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, Gotuzzo also co-founded the Gorgas Courses in Clinical Tropical Medicine Course in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is the only U.S. board-certified course in tropical medicine for graduates in a developing country.

Other Vanderbilt faculty members involved in CCASAnet include:

Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., the Amos Christie Chair in Global Health and a co-founder of the Gorgas Courses;

Richard D’Aquila, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for AIDS Research;

Catherine McGowan, M.D., director of research at the Comprehensive Care Center in Nashville, the state’s largest out-patient HIV/AIDS program;

Timothy Sterling, M.D., an expert in tuberculosis who is collaborating with Brazilian researchers; and

Bryan Shepherd, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biostatistics.

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