PUNE - 411026

(Established in 1992)



Phone: 020 -27331200
Fax: 020 -27121071
Email :
Website :
Scope of Activities:

  • Situated at Pune in Maharashtra, the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) conducts researchon HIV prevention, care and support including anti-retroviral treatment and Biology of HIV infection.
  • The Institute works closely with the National AIDS Control Programme, especially in monitoring and evaluation and quality control.

Thrust Areas:

The following are the thrust areas of NARI

  • Prevention research: Vaccine development and conducting clinical trials of vaccines and
    microbicides, behavioural interventions and positive prevention studies.
  • Care and treatment research: Controlled clinical trials of anti-HIV drug therapy, treatment
    of HIV-TB co-infected persons and understanding mental health needs and providing
    psychosocial support for HIV infected persons are some of the core programmes. The
    Institute has a programme for screening new molecules for anti-HIV activity. Anti-retroviral
    drug resistance testing is one of the important areas.
  • Biology of HIV infection: Characterization of Indian HIV-1 strains including full length
    sequence data, cell tropism, surveillance for recombinant strains, host immune response
    including neutralizing antibody response, cytolytic T cell response and host genetics, role of
    dendritic cells are major thrust areas of HIV biology research.
  • Support to National Programme: Capacity building through training of doctors and other
    health care providers, monitoring and evaluation; quality control.
International Recognition:

  • NARI is a
    • Designated WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Diagnosis and Monitoring of Antiretroviral
    • Clinical Trial Unit under AIDS Research Programme of National Institutes of Health, USA.
  • The ART drug resistance laboratory of NARI is the first WHO accredited laboratory in India for
    carrying out anti-HIV drug resistance genotyping.
Human Resource Development :

  • NARI organises training programmes/workshops for medical officers, specialists, microbiologists,
    laboratory technicians in diverse areas viz., antiretroviral therapy, syphilis serology, bio-ethics,
    ANC, STD surveillance etc.
  • NARI provides HIV module for M. Sc. Virology Course offered by NIV.
  • NARI provides support to M.P.H. course of NIE for HIV related studies.
Recognition for Doctorate/Masters by a University:

NARI is recognized by Pune University for PhD and M.Sc. programme and by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik for Ph D programme in Epidemiology.

Major Achievements:

Significant achievements of NARI are the following

  • Characterization of Indian HIV strains: The Institute has carried out studies on
    characterization of Indian HIV viruses. NARI has shown that Indian HIV subtype C strains
    segregate away from those from other countries such as China or South Africa. Full genome
    of over 85 HIV virus strains has been sequenced. NARI reported first HIV-1 subtype B/C
    recombinant virus in 1998, first time from India. Since then more of A/C and B/C recombinants
    have been reported. The Institute has established a repository of HIV strains isolated from
    different parts of the country.
  • HIV seronegative cohort study: NARI established a large cohort of HIV seronegative
    persons at high risk of HIV infection. This cohort gave data on the incidence and prevalence
    of HIV infection, role of co-infections such as HSV-2, vitamin A and role of circumcision in
    prevention of HIV infection.
  • Demonstrated for the first time that women married to STD patients are at greater risk of
    HIV infection even though they do not indulge in high risk behaviour.
  • HIV vaccine research: Established vaccine testing site and conducted India’s first HIV
    vaccine trial with Adeno-associated virus based vaccine. A second phase I trial (DNA/MVA
    prime and boost strategy) has also been completed.
  • ART drug resistance surveys: NARI leads the efforts on generating data on the drug
    resistance among newly infected individuals as well as drug resistance development among
    those on National AIDS Control programme through threshold surveillance and monitoring
    surveys. The Institute has published a number of important papers in this field.
  • Coordinated integrated behavioural and biological assessment survey in six high HIV
    prevalence states as a part of monitoring and evaluation of Bill and Melinda Gates
    Foundation’s “Avahan India AIDS Initiative”. The results of repeat surveys were shared with
    the programme. The findings have been published in over 20 scientific manuscripts and the
    data has been shared with scientific community for secondary analysis.
  • Established Clinical Trial Unit at NARI having a capacity to carry out clinical trials for treatment
    and prevention of HIV using ART and provides drugs through the National ARV treatment
    programme for ongoing access.
  • Established a facility to conduct studies on women controlled methods for HIV prevention.
    Successfully conducted many Phase I and II trials for vaginal microbicides and female
  • Contribution to National programme: NARI has played a major role in ‘train the trainers’
    programme for counselors, feasibility study for prevention of mother to child transmission
    of HIV, external quality assurance programme for HIV testing and CD4 counts as well for
    medical officers in the National antiretroviral treatment programme.

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