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ZATA Project
9763 East Crestline Circle
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111


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Interview with Africa Agenda 




Why is the ZATA Project needed?

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) disproportionately affect those in resource-limited settings, such as Zimbabwe. Although effective treatments for HIV infection (antiretrovirals or AIDS drugs cocktails) are available in the United States, the use of these medicines in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa has been limited. The CIA World Fact Book estimates that 1.2 million Zimbabweans (14% ) are infected with HIV. Unfortunately antiretrovirals are only available to less than 50% of the HIV-infected Zimbabweans who need them. As a consequence of the unavailability of antiretrovirals, and limited resources to prevent and treat the complications of HIV infection, an estimated 83,000 Zimbabweans died from HIV/AIDS this past year. 

To help address the overwhelming AIDS problem in Zimbabwe, the faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of California-San Diego and San Francisco are working with their counterparts at the University of Zimbabwe Medical School to conduct AIDS clinical trials research in Zimbabwe. The purpose of this research is to develop better approaches to treatment of HIV-1 infection in Zimbabwe, and to develop the capacity and expertise needed to improve the treatment of people with HIV infection in Zimbabwe. To facilitate AIDS research in Zimbabwe, the faculty of the University of Zimbabwe Medical School formed an AIDS Research Unit. Research studies conducted by the AIDS Research Unit directly benefit HIV-infected Zimbabweans by providing a source of antiretroviral drugs.

Objectives of Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance Project (ZATA) Project

After federally-funded research studies are completed, the HIV-infected research participants must find other ways to obtain antiretroviral therapy, since federal funds are not allowed to purchase post-study drugs in Zimbabwe. Because the cost of antiretrovirals is beyond the financial resources of the average Zimbabwean, many research participants need assistance with procurement of antiretroviral therapy after their participation in research studies is completed. Also, clinics that serve HIV/AIDS patients are often short of funds to support their staff, and the AIDS Research Unit that provides medical care as well as conducting research is no exception. The ZATA Project was formed as a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise funds that will be used to purchase antiretroviral drugs and support medical care for Zimbabwean research participants when their participation in clinical trials research programs is completed.

Mission Statement

The mission of the ZATA project is to raise funds for medications and medical care for over 900 HIV-infected Zimbabweans who receive post-research care at the University of Zimbabwe clinics through the sale of original Zimbabwe art and sculpture. All net proceeds from such sales and from monetary donations and contributions from private individuals and biomedical companies will be spent for this purpose.