“We aim to pave the path to HIV elimination through the entry point of improving community health.”


Diane Havlir, MD,

Principal Investigator



SEARCH engages communities and local leadership in a multi-disease approach to improve health screening, care delivery and individual and community well-being.

The research study uses bold, new ideas—like multi-disease, community-based testing and treatment—to address more than HIV, including community health, economic productivity, and cultural stigma.

What is SEARCH?

SEARCH is a research study that uses the “Test-and-Treat” strategy for HIV reduction—that is, we screen for HIV in all persons in a community, followed by immediate treatment for those who test positive—in 32 communities in rural Uganda and Kenya, including over 350,000 adults and children.


The study is considering the health, economic and educational impact of new approaches in community HIV testing, treatment, care and prevention. In the first phase of SEARCH (2013-2017), the research team worked with local communities to host mobile, community-wide health fairs that included health education; screenings for HIV and diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and tuberculosis; and immediate care or referral for any health problems. In the second phase (2017-2020), the team used targeted HIV prevention (i.e., PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), targeted HIV testing, and targeted care interventions on top of universal treatment and streamlined care.

The results of SEARCH will help to guide the global effort to end AIDS. 


The SEARCH team is excited to announce a new 5-year NIH-funded research program designed to design and test evidence based treatment and prevention interventions that will guide a global effort to end AIDS using a multi-disease, multi-sector approach. The new program, SEARCH Sapphire: “A Multisectoral Strategy to Address Persistent drivers of the HIV epidemic in East Africa” aims to accelerate the path to HIV elimination with new innovative combination strategies for HIV prevention and treatment that are effective, efficient, scalable and reduce preventable infections and deaths. Collaborators for this study include Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kenya, Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration and Makerere University in Uganda, University of California Berkeley, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, and University College London and will start in early 2021!

SEARCH team at AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam


Despite effective treatments, only 22 million of the 37 million people living with HIV globally receive treatment. This gap exists largely because health workers in developing countries struggle to reach HIV-infected individuals. In the first phase of the SEARCH trial (2013-2017), mobile, community-wide health fairs offered annual testing for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Collaborators & Advisors


SEARCH Phase 1 Main Findings Published in New England Journal of Medicine

The SEARCH Collaboration has recently published its Phase I findings "HIV Testing and Treatment with the Use of a Community Health Approach" in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. In conjunction with two other published studies, we now know that a Universal Test and Treat strategy can significantly reduce HIV incidence.  We showed in SEARCH that a multi-disease approach adds community health benefits of reducing tuberculosis and mortality along with reductions in new HIV infections. We also know that we will need more than test and treat alone to eliminate HIV and that is why we continue important work in the SEARCH study. This publication adds to the over 50 papers that have been published by the SEARCH Collaboration in the past few years.

You can access the new publication here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1809866

See SEARCH profiled in the Emmy-winning episode of the PBS Newshour

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SEARCH study exceeds U.N.  'test and treat' goal for ending HIV pandemic

SEARCH Research has produced Over 50 peer-reviewed publications since 2014

Click on Article Title to Get PDF File of publication.

Recent Highlights

SEARCH Science

Dr. Catherine Koss of University of California, San Francisco presented at the 2020 AIDS Conference in San Francisco on behalf of the SEARCH team on SEARCH trial Phase II interim results.The results show  that population-level PrEP offer (2016-2019) in 16 communities in rural Uganda and Kenya was associated with 79% lower HIV incidence among PrEP initiators with follow-up HIV testing than among recent (2015-2017) matched controls in the absence of PrEP.

Scientific Abstract and Presentation: https://cattendee.abstractsonline.com/meeting/9289/presentation/202


Now & the Future

SEARCH represents an opportunity to realize HIV elimination and to improve community health and productivity.

Phase I of SEARCH (2013-2017) showed that multi-disease, community-based testing and treatment is effective and can reduce deaths and new HIV infections and increase workforce participation.


Phase II (2017-2020) focused on new  health and treatment models for adolescents and young adults; HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP); treatment models for tuberculosis; and novel electronic technologies for community health.



Edwin Charlebois, MPH, PhD

Study Vice-Chair / Investigator

University of California, San Francisco


Tamara Clark, MHS

Executive Administrator / Investigator

University of California, San Francisco


Laura Balzer, PhD

Study Statistician / Investigator

Amherst University


Elizabeth Bukusi, MBChB, M.Med, MPH, PhD

Kenya Site PI / Investigator

Kenya Medical Research Institute

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Craig Cohen, MD, MPH


University of California, San Francisco

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Gabriel Chamie, MD, MPH


University of California, San Francisco

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Harsha Thurimurthy, PhD

Economist / Investigator 

University of Pennsylvania

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James Ayieko, MBChB, MPH


Kenya Medical Research Institute


Dalsone Kwarisiima, MBChB, MPH


Infectious Diseases Research Colaboration, Uganda


Lillian Brown, MD, PhD


University of California, San Francisco


Vivek Jain, MD, MAS


University of California, San Fracisco


Carol Camlin, PhD, MPH


University of California, San Francisco


Theodore Ruel, MD


University of California, San Francisco


Starley Shade, PhD, MPH


University of California, San Francisco


Catherine Koss, MD


University of California, San Francisco

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Diane Havlir, MD

Principal Investigator

Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, UC San Francisco


Moses Kamya, MBChB, MMed, MPH, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Professor of Medicine and current Chair of the Department of Medicine at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda


Maya Petersen, MD, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the School of Public Health of the University of California, Berkeley

Investigative Team


​​Call us:

+1-415-476-4082 x400


​Find us: 

1001 Potrero Ave., Building 80, Ward 84 

San Francisco, CA 94110

Updated 21 February 2021