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Kilgoris Study

Kilgoris (Masai for ‘Unstable’ to describe the ever-changing nature of HIV-1) is a clinical study that investigates the ability of the human body to control the amount of free Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) early in infection without antiretroviral drugs. HIV-1 attacks the body's immune system and destroys CD4 cells, which fight infection in the human body.

The study monitors trends during early stages of HIV-1 infection which are characterized by a gradual increase in the amount of free virus in the human body, and the next level, which is characterized by a rapid drop in free virus before the introduction of antiretroviral treatment. Data from this study seeks to feed into on-going and future studies focused on creating the next generation of HIV-1 immunogens.


  • The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
  • The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership 2 (EDCTP2) programme supported by the European Union.

Project duration

November 2019 to October 2022 (EDCTP2).

January 2018 to June 2022 (IAVI)


The aims of the EDCTP funded KILGORIS study are:

  • To understand the link between the viral load in the human body and the number of virus-killing cells in the body.
  • To understand how body cells die when they come in contact with the HIV-1 virus.
  • To understand the processes that enable some human body cells to kill the HIV-1 virus.

Key activities  

In partnership with health centres, hospitals, non-governmental organisations, and other partners in Masaka District, south western Uganda, the study conducts the following activities;

  • Identifying cases of recent HIV-1 infection.
  • Re-testing 'left-over' blood samples of persons with HIV negative or inconclusive test results from the government of Uganda HIV testing algorithm using a more sensitive Xpert HIV-1 Viral Load assay.
  • Conducting comprehensive research training for research participants, in the fields of HIV epidemiology, Immunology and Clinical Microbiology.
  • Providing voluntary counselling and HIV testing services (VCT) to study participant communities.