CAPRISA was formally established in 2002 under the NIH-funded Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA) by five partner institutions; University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Columbia University in New York. CAPRISA is a designated UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy; and is the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation‘s designated Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention.
CAPRISA undertakes high-impact globally relevant and locally responsive research on HIV, TB and SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment. To achieve this goal, CAPRISA conducts research mainly in four scientific programmes: 1) HIV and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and vaccines, 2) HIV and TB treatment, 3) HIV epidemiology and prevention and 4) Pandemic preparedness and epidemic intelligence.
Research activities at CAPRISA are supported by eight support cores including, administration, statistics, data management, laboratory, community, pharmacy, bioethics, and information systems.
The fiduciary and policy oversight of CAPRISA is governed by the Board of Control with senior industry officials. The CAPRISA Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by Nobel Laureate, Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Emeritus Professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.